I enjoy watching people achieve performance beyond anticipated levels. It motivates me when they emerge from the crowd, functioning at the highest levels and standing as new examples of excellence.
We often think of athletes when we reflect on individuals having breakout years. It seems each year a new tennis player, golfer, football player, etc. defies rankings and enters the upper echelons of their sport.
In sports, assets beyond athletic ability are evident when we observe players reach new performance levels. These often include:
- Uncompromising belief in self and cause, plus a burning desire to succeed.
- Work ethic that goes above and beyond, including intensive study and practice to refine their own techniques for success against competition.
- Courage to compete with and learn from the best and a willingness to continually challenge themselves to produce at the highest levels.
- A shift in mindset that now expects to be winning, not just performing, at the highest levels. The new level achieved becomes the floor, not the ceiling.
- Coaches who believe in them and who challenge them to reach their full potential, holding them accountable and working with them to set new goals to achieve higher levels of performance.
The same assets elevate individuals in business or in other endeavors to have breakout years and set new standards of excellence or leadership. To rise in any organization, you must demonstrate capability, achieve goals and earn the confidence of others that you will deliver more of the same.
It’s a new year. If your resolution is to get to a new position, organization or career, it’s time to take action to reach your goal. What are you going to do differently to make this your breakout year? Here are seven actions to improve your trajectory:
- Write down your goal. This simple act makes it more real to you and increases your desire to pursue it.
- Do your homework. Find out what others did to achieve the same or similar accomplishment. Ask what they believe it takes now to achieve their position today – requirements do change with time.
- Perform a gap analysis. Determine what you need to do to make your desired outcome attainable based on # 2 above.
- Bring others along. Share your objective with the appropriate people. Solicit their help and feedback. Be prepared to hear and do things you haven’t previously contemplated.
- Invest in yourself. This may be specific training or education, taking a lateral move to be better prepared for a higher level in the future, hiring a coach, etc.
- Course correct as needed. The notion of being steadfast to your goal, yet flexible in your approach, is a valuable concept to apply.
- Persevere. Success is rarely achieved by following a straight path. Learn from disappointment and feedback. Demonstrate willingness to grow, change and improve. You will get better and others will notice.
While nothing guarantees success, taking actions to improve your capability and embracing the lessons and growth that result substantially improves your odds of accomplishing your goals and realizing new opportunities.
Don’t let another year pass you by. Chart your path and act now to make this your breakout year!
How can executive coaching help you achieve what’s next?
Lance Hazzard, CPCC, ACC, is a certified Intelligent Leadership Executive Coach helping people and organizations successfully achieve what’s next. He is Executive Coach and President at Oppnå® Executive & Achievement Coaching. Find out more about Lance and Oppnå® Coaching at oppnacoaching.com