Whatever work you do, or whatever product or service you provide. What makes you better than those who also do what you do? What makes your performance outstanding?
Think about this: can you give three reasons why someone should hire you, or follow you, or choose your service? If you cannot answer this clearly, then few changes have to be made for someone to choose you over some other candidate. People are given slew of options to choose from and they would choose someone whose performance stands out.
Let’s say your senior associate is having lunch with a colleague today and your name comes up—what does he or she say about you? Adjectives like “nice,” “capable” and “pleasant” are certainly positive, but you can do better than that. Consistently great performance conjures up words like “fantastic,” “exceptional” and “extraordinary.”
If you decide to take another job one day, it would be reaffirming to hear your boss say, “What can we do to keep you here?” and not, “Bon Voyage!” To develop this kind of reputation—remember it doesn’t happen automatically—aim to always do a great performance but know when a remarkable performance is called for.
If you want to gain a really remarkable reputation, stay on your toes. Like a professional athlete or a famous rock star, you are only as good as your last game or your last hit. Your fans (or, in most everyday cases, your coworkers or clients) won’t love you unconditionally: they will continue to judge you based on your work and the results and benefits they enjoy from it.
It can be difficult to have an objective view of your own performance. It is easy to assume that you are doing a good or even great job and be content with that illusion. To avoid a rude awakening at a performance review, you need to maintain a clear view on how strong—or weak—your performance actually is.
The best way to do this is to actively seek ongoing feedback. Listen impartially, without defending yourself, and your ‘audience’ will offer insights you can use to improve. If you really want to know, ask this simple question, “What could I do to make my performance outstanding?” Even if this feedback isn’t the pat on the back you’d hoped for; it will be something valuable – clear direction on how you can become a better performer. The feedbacks I have received from Shobana and my coaches have helped me tremendously and I value them big time.
The goal in whatever important work you do isn’t to be good; the goal is to be outstanding like my coaches TD and Suparna Dutta.