As an older Outperformer, I thought it might be instructive to share a few workplace guidelines that have served me well over the years. My hope is that millennials in particular will consider these guidelines as a way to stand out in the workplace and the marketplace.
So here they are – a short list of guidelines to keep you one step ahead of the competition:
Time is a Limited Resource
Yesterday is gone – tomorrow is not guaranteed – all you have to work with is today. Here’s a pretty good formula to put the present in perspective and in focus. Learn from the past – but don’t linger there. Use what you learned from the past to improve what you’re doing today. Schedule 60-90 minutes on your calendar each day to work on your most important tasks and activities. Then keep the appointment.
There’s No Prize for Trying – just for Results
Don’t expect to be rewarded for effort. Trying hard is important – and necessary – but what the marketplace will reward is results. Important caveat: You may well be rewarded for effort alone if you work for the government – but results are what count in the private sector.
Don’t Wait to be Told What to Do
You’ll never become an Outperformer by waiting to be told what to do. Initiative is a rare commodity in the marketplace today. Being a self-starter and figuring out things as you go will serve you well. It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.
Own Your Mistakes
You’ll never outperform the competition by being a perfectionist. And, you’ll never be a success without failing. Your employer can accept the fact that you’re going to make mistakes. What your employer won’t tolerate is making the same mistakes over and over again. Learn from what didn’t work and keep moving forward.
Read More Books and Fewer Tweets
You can get the gist of an issue in 140 characters but that’s about it. You don’t want your knowledge to be a mile wide and an inch deep. Dig down, dive in and go for the heart of an issue. Learn from what others know. Set a goal to read 25 books a year in your chosen field or profession. The marketplace rewards expertise.