Before you can answer that, what is your personal best? And then how are you operating today compared to that?
Have you ever looked around and noticed that a person who at one point was reporting to you or worked for one of your peers is now in a more senior role than you are?
You may feel shocked, thinking, “I know I’m more qualified to do that job than that person is.” But you’re not the one who got the role/job.
You start to ask yourself, “What am I doing wrong?” or you begin to come up with reasons to justify why that person surpassed you, e.g., “I’m not willing to kiss $*!*& to get ahead,” “I’m not going to sell my soul”, “I don’t have the connections and support they have!” You name it.
While you could stay on this track; blaming the system, bad managers who didn’t mentor you, or worse—they created barriers for you every day, lack of connections, poor skills development, etc., you don’t have to. Instead, you can take a different approach.
For one, the current track deflects your power and paints you in a light where you don’t have options. Nothing could be further from the truth. A new perspective can help you switch tracks to explore how you are showing up for yourself and taking charge of your career. Reframing with a new way of thinking can surface the options at your disposal starting today to help you reset if you’re not happy with the current outlook of your situation.
How is this related to your personal best and how you’re operating today?
I’ll give you a personal example. During my weekly training at the local cross-fit gym for women, I reached a personal best, a set of 100 lbs squats. Before that, my personal best had been 85 lbs. How did I know? I have been tracking my performance and progress since I joined this gym at the start of the year.
What I quickly noticed once the coach recorded on the board the number of pounds my peers handled was that I had accomplished supporting the least weight. [picture below, Ginny, 6:30 class]. My peers’ carried from 105 lbs to 135 lbs.
However, my satisfaction came from knowing that I REACHED A NEW PERSONAL BEST, regardless of what my classmates accomplished. Indeed, I was inspired to continue to push.
Similarly, as a leader, in business and life, how do you measure your performance and how effectively are you operating in your work environment?
Here are some ways I’ve used to measure my performance and results in my career as a leader:
Direct feedback from my manager, team, peers, and others during casual or formal performance review conversations (What can I improve as a leader? How can I support you moving forward?)
Indirect feedback from observing others interact with me (Are they looking forward to working with me, or are they resistant to get me involved or collaborate with me? Am I experiencing conflicts at work?)
The value I generate for my organization (strategic planning, thought leadership, driving results, sales, project deliverables, product quality, customer service, client relationships, cost savings, operational efficiencies, engagement, collaboration, networking with others in my field for ideas, etc.)
My team’s performance (productivity, engagement, quality, innovation, collaboration)
My level of satisfaction with what I’m doing and the value I’m adding (Am I giving it my all, or am I holding back? If I am, in what specific areas, and what’s the reason behind it?)
Based on your role, your performance may be measured through well-defined KPIs (key performance indicators), or not. If you don’t have precise measurements, as a leader, it’s precious to keep a pulse on your individual and team performance.
If your organization is not tracking it through pre-determined KPIs, take the lead as a thought leader, and create your performance measurements. Socialize them with your team and peers to land on those measures that make sense for the team and your business.
If you’re not happy with the results of those measures, previously established or otherwise, that’s your opportunity to identify the type of improvements you’d want to see in your personal best.
Similarly, if your team’s performance is lackluster based on the measures/KPIs, your personal best would involve mentoring and coaching them to their next level of performance. What do they need? Is it a technical skill-related improvement, personal development that’s needed—an interpersonal skill tweak, or an attitude adjustment?
Identifying the baseline for you and your team starting today and measuring future performance against that baseline will give you valuable insights to operate at your personal best moving forward.
The reward for your efforts will be that regardless of where you are on your journey, it won’t matter where anyone else is because you will know that you and your team REACHED A NEW PERSONAL BEST. And that’s all that you can ask for—and now you’ve set a new baseline in your career and life. As a bonus, since you reached this new level, you may even feel inspired to push for the next one — wink, wink.
What are some other ways in which you and your organization measure success?
In the meantime, be fearless! (act despite the fear)
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With love and appreciation,
Dr. Ginny Baro is a certified, international executive coach, motivational speaker, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work.
Ginny specializes in helping executives develop leaders, maximize performance, and increase profits. As a career strategist, she partners with talented individuals who are navigating a corporate hierarchy or transitioning into an entirely new phase of their professional careers.
Where do you want to be 12-months from now? Schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session and learn for yourself how she can support you to begin creating the results you want. For additional support, join our community and receive valuable strategies delivered to your inbox. Read other articles on our blog, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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