How to Be the Best

How to Be the Best

Attitude is key to being a top performer in any job, and these six tips will help you excel in your career and bring value to your employer

"Showing off" at work isn't about bragging or arrogance. Showing off means creating value through accomplishment

What do top-performing individuals have in common? What are the factors that drive exceptional performance? What are the personal strategies and actions that create and sustain success? In one word: Attitude.

It's not rocket science. Attitude inspires strategies that drive daily actions that create success. It's not motivational mumbo jumbo. It's quite simply about the choices that a person makes that ultimately create his reality.

"Showing off" isn't about bragging or arrogance. Showing off at work means bringing your best to any situation. It's about being focused and working with the intention of creating results that benefit the stakeholders in any given situation. Showing off means creating value through accomplishment; these six tips will help you.

1. Be About Results

In Texas, if you can't deliver results, they say you're "all hat and no cattle." Big ideas are a dime a dozen. An employer will trade 10 thinkers for one really great doer. Being known as the person who gets things done is one of the ultimate career turbo-chargers. When I ask managers and executives to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, the value of an employee who takes action and gets things done, they invariably say "10."

Along with results, be consistent. Consistency of performance is not only the great brand builder, it's the great career builder. The gold standard in business is to be habitually dependable. There is simply no substitute for being someone whose performance can be counted on without question.

Many a career has been killed by stupid promises. Never, ever, ever overpromise. As tempting as it may be to tell an angry customer or a frustrated co-worker or an impatient boss that you'll get them what they want on time — if you know you can't do it — don't promise it. It's much easier to defend not being able to do something than it is to promise and then not deliver. Know what results you can deliver and then deliver them consistently.

2. Be Willing to Risk

Casey Stengel once said, "They say you can't do it but that doesn't always work." He's right. Here's another blinding flash of the obvious: 100 percent of the things you don't try won't happen. The lesson is this: Take a chance. All things come to he who waits, but it comes a lot faster to he who goes out and gets it.

If you claim to be an innovator, then, by definition, you are a risk taker. Innovation means you go first. Innovation means that you will try ideas before you know that they're going to work. That's the very nature of innovation. If you wait until success is certain, then you're too late.

Mark Twain once said, "I knew a man who picked a cat up by the tail. He learned 40 percent more about cats than the man who didn't." Sometimes we have to pick the cat up by the tail. You may get scratched up, but you'll gain information that will set you on the right path to success.

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