Success calls for more than just performance

ALSO NEEDED Factors like relationship management and a higher understanding play an equally important role in a persons corporate career

Success calls for more than just performance


The expectation has risen to the extent that people are expected to ride on the bandwagon of performance and to deliver from the very first day. The only buzzword doing the rounds seems to be high performance, high performance!  This virtually decides everything for an individual, be it one’s designation, salary, perks et all.

Often performance is related to producing more, producing high quality and in time.  Wish it was that simple! Alas it is not so. Other factors play a significant if not an equal role in deciding a person’s fate in corporate. Let us have a look at the factors…

n Higher understanding  
In today’s cut throat times, to excel and score above all, it is important to perform to the best of your ability but equally important is to get all other factors to work in your favour. Let us start with a simple question “How are you doing?”
“I’m doing my best” the impromptu reply. They say and rightly so, your best may not always be good enough or your task isn’t always the critical one for the corporate. Adopt the “Everything counts” maxim.

Time to ponder… “If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing and you’re not getting what you want out of it, you should stop doing what you have been doing and start doing what you should be doing.”
In an environment where everyone performs well and the differentiating margins seem to be ever shrinking; simply relying on your performance to see you through would be foolhardiness.

Identify and understand the constraints of the environment, learn to work with them and not despite them.  After all, what’s the deal if you perform given the most optimum of conditions?

The deal is when you perform despite the odds; make do with whatever is available in the name of optimality. For example: A good project manager builds a quality solution knowing it is the right thing to do.
A proactive project manager determines the client’s expectations for quality and puts a plan in place to meet that level of quality.
The bottom line thus is, being good is necessary but not sufficient.

* Sharing a common vision,
It is important that all see the same goal when it comes to accomplishing it. Little have been accomplished by the attitude of “you go your way”, “I will go mine”.
Come on, “paths have to cross; all paths have got to lead to the same destination”.
You may be very good, but what’s the use when A has to be accomplished, but your focus remains unflinchingly on accomplishing B. To make you understand A, somebody goes head over heels and in so doing expends more effort than simply doing A thyself!
Let us say, once it is allowed, twice also allowed, but the third time and you are a forgotten choice for the task. Before that happens, it would be in your favour alone to align your vision with the organisation’s vision.

*  Relationships
Lot of books tell us and lot of people tell us “Make your boss look good” and make your boss’s boss look good. Agreed, who does not want to go up the rung of ladder fast enough. What the books and people may not tell us is make your peers look good and in addition,  make your subordinates look good.
After all, if everyone is growing, you grow with them.
If you make your subordinates look good, rest assure the next time they will make sure that you look good.

By doing what? By working better and efficiently.
If you make your peers look good, the next time they will all want to work with you and probably even recommend you for some task.
If everything else weighs equal on the performance metric, relationship might and does matter. You constantly got to be on the radar screen of your superiors and relationship does come in play there. Not only to survive but to rule the roost and achieve results smartly, you got to be properly networked. In today’s parlance, network spells as life time relationship.

* Political awareness
Somewhere it said there are two categories of people —those who wait for things to happen and those that make things happen.
Incredible as it may sound; it is best to be in the second category because there is much less competition there!

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Let us try and understand it this way. Let us weigh political awareness (now that comprises of your business acumen, sharpness, cleverness, discernment and good judgment) vis-à-vis your integrity (and that comprises of your honesty, dedication and hard work).

Case 1: you have zero political awareness and zero integrity… you can only aimlessly drift in a direction that everyone is unaware of, including you.
Case 2: Let us assume you have great integrity but zero political awareness… you need to be hoarded in a particular direction much like the sheep.
Case 3: Another case is you have great political awareness and zero integrity… you still survive because you are no less compared to the wily fox.
Case 4: Ok… you have average political know-how of the happenings around and your average integrity does not fail you. You are perceived as someone who takes others dump and walk in a direction that they egg you on.
Case 5: Great political awareness matched with an equally great integrity. That’s what makes you a smart worker… the so called smart aleck and smart alecks can make things happen. Come on, play on … the world is your oasis.

*  Adapting to change
The only thing constant in this otherwise inconstant world is change. Humans by nature resist change but when its times for change… change they must. No one has ever been able to escape change. It is inevitable. Today’s problem cannot be solved with yesterday’s solution.

Come on, that should not surprise you.
We have heard about change before. Civilizations have changed; culture has changed and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that for a corporate change is the life blood. 

Like it or not, you as an individual need to embrace change be it in your work style or revamping your skills with an absolutely new set.
All said and done, sniff change in the air, always be prepared for change, change when its time and be ready to change the next time around. Sounds easy! but it is not!

* Away from comfort  zone
“If you don’t stretch beyond your comfort zone, you’re going to be in the same place tomorrow and the next day and the next. It’s not easy to come out of your comfort zone — but your comfort has a price”. Life means missing the expected and facing the unexpected... Even eagles need a push.

* Luck  factor
Yes, it is a world of performance but everything else does matter. Luck too matters. Lady luck smiling down on you, you in the right place at the right time, can anyone beat that! There is a term that aptly describes it… “Serendipity”. What does it mean? It means fortunate discoveries or incidents by accidents.
Haven’t we heard success stories of a few of our friends… landed in the right degree college purely by chance, did the right course by chance again! And that plump job offer, of course it happened all by itself. “Lucky you”… you say.
It is better to ensure that opportunities do not escape your eye but wait a minute… we aren’t talking about you turning into a full blown opportunist but yes we are talking about you not complaining of noise when opportunity comes knocking on your door.

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