This is the second of a two-part series on the ingredients to workplace success (To see the first part, visit our Facebook page)
When you look at Drivers – the people who have the greatest success – and satisfaction – in their work, you see a number of common denominators. Last week we took a look at being People-focused and Solution-driven. Here are two more core differentiators of successful people:
1. Decisive and Action-Oriented
Drivers have the ability to efficiently review options, measure the relative benefits and risks, make decisions, then make sure things are in motion quickly. One of the characteristics that goes along with this is the confidence Drivers have in themselves, and their ability to successfully deal with the fallout should one of their decisions have unexpected consequences. Often, they have already have a Plan B in mind.
The people who struggle the most with the decision-making process are those at the extreme ends of the decision-making spectrum. On the one side, there are those chronically over-analyze. They are so concerned about making a mistake that they often become paralyzed. The other extreme are those who make lightening-quick decisions without any real consideration. Their tendency to rush into things often ends up with someone else picking up the pieces afterward.
2. Living in the Moment
One of the most prominent characteristics of Drivers is their ability to live in the moment. They appreciate the good things as they come, and make the most of the opportunities that present themselves. They have a sense of urgency, and want things done today.
Drivers don’t lose a lot of sleep over things that happened in the past. They understand that you can’t change the past – but you can learn from it. They also understand how unpredictable the future can be. The one thing they can control is what they choose to focus on in the present. The result of this is less anxiety, less guilt, less uncertainty and more enjoyment of the things they experience.
One important thing to remember about being successful at work is that it is absolutely attainable for everyone. You’ll hear people dispute this, but most of the arguments boil down to plain old excuses. You’ll hear people say, for example, “it’s not what you know but who you know.” The statement is very often true. But the Drivers’ response to this is to take every opportunity to get to know as many people as you can.
Some people will tell you that successful people “just had it easier.” That, of course, is nonsense. Successful people made it easier by having a positive attitude, having a strong support network and being willing to take swift, decisive action when called for.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember, however, is that “success,” is ultimately defined by you. For some, it might be how high they climb the corporate ladder. Others may define it as how well they balance their work and family life; or how well they get along with their coworkers. There is no right or wrong interpretation. It’s whatever works for you.
“The recipe for success? Learn from the past, plan for the future, live for today”