Quote attributed to Jared Silver
The key difference between capability and performance is application. There area lot of capable people, but unless they apply their skills to actually achieve results their performance will be underwhelming. Nothing is more frustrating to an Organization than a highly capable person who fails to deliver results.
There can be a myriad of reasons why (and your manager likely bears some of the responsibility). One of my most popular posts entitled the P.I.E. Model claims a high level of performance is simply the ticket to entry for promotion consideration. But, becoming a high performer is not the easiest of tasks.
Here are SIX TIMELESS TIPS on how to get results. You may find one or more of them thought provoking. All are practical.
- Plan ahead. It is important to anticipate future needs and have information available when it is required. Zig Ziglar used to say “You must first plan to win, then prepare to win, if you want to expect to win”. Have a plan and work the plan. Don’t fly by the seat of your pants.
- Have a sense of urgency. Many plans fail because the plan owner doesn’t drive execution. Every minute you hesitate the competition is gaining on you. Handle things quickly, communicate information and commitments while fresh in everybody’s minds. Bring tasks to closure. Set completion dates and then deliver on even faster timing. Your sense of immediacy will translate into a sense of urgency for others helping you achieve milestones.
- Follow through and follow up. If you make a commitment, meet that commitment. Personal follow through give you the legitimacy to expect the same behaviors from others. But, since your priorities may not be theirs it is incumbent you follow up to ensure people who make commitments to you follow through. If you find roadblocks, then work to enable the Organization to overcome them.
- Anticipate questions. For every task worth doing Management and support people will have questions. Put yourself in their shoes and anticipate their information (or authorization) needs. The faster these questions can be answered, the quicker your task goals will be completed. Unanswered questions often cause a project to languish in administrative purgatory.
- Have proper priorities. Big results come from big initiatives. Don’t let administrative tasks fill your day and prevent to for working on your high impact projects. Effectively delegate whenever possible and get out of the way. Know what your unique contribution to the task is and deliver. If a task you are responsible for becomes a critical path item you are likely doing something wrong. Don’t be tempted to micromanage your team. It is a waste of time.
- Review progress frequently. You have to keep your finger on the pulse of your task and know when something presents as a problem. If you solve problems quickly, you prevent them from becoming a crisis that can derail your timeline. Routinely communicate what you find to the rest of the people helping you and to your direct manager. Enrolling, energizing and enabling them is your leadership job.
Hopefully the above tips feel right to you. It is clearly not an exhaustive list, so it you have another tip please add it as a comment to this post.