I was asked to do this "Mind" Your Business blog series a while back. I was told it would be a good thing to do and not to worry, "it would be easy." I’ve received some positive feedback on my posts, so I think it has turned out to be a good thing. However, I can tell you it is NOT as easy as advertised. Consistently coming up with thought-provoking content is a challenge. As I started the series I had a couple of ideas so I started strong, but I was worried about continuing to come up with meaningful subject matter every two weeks.
I hoped I wouldn’t become a "one hit wonder." I thought of all the bands that have come out with a great first album. The material was written and played over many years. That album turns out great, but then they need to quickly follow up with a second album. It seems like that highly anticipated second album often stinks.
So what does this is have to do with business? It’s the value that comes from sustained performance — the need for consistency.
How do you consistently achieve good results? Simply put, it’s through consistent effort and a positive attitude and I believe there are three keys to this:
- It helps a lot if you love what you do and the people with whom you work. I know not everybody loves their job, but if you truly dislike what you do or the people you work with, you should find something new. You spend too much of your time and energy at work, and life’s too short to be unhappy while you are there.
- Try to have balance in your life so you continually bring energy to your job (and personal life). One feeds or drains the other, so it’s a compounding situation.
- Understand how what you do aligns with your company’s strategies and results. Almost everyone’s job affects critical success factors such as external or internal customer satisfaction, efficiency and expense control, or revenue generation. This understanding can provide motivation, focus and satisfaction. If you don’t understand your alignment, ask your supervisor.
A while back, I heard a sermon from a new pastor that I thought was particularly good. I said something to the senior pastor about it, and I remember him saying, "Everybody has one good sermon in them." That’s probably true, and the real test is delivering the goods every time.
As I think about how I feel tested coming up with a few words worth writing (and hopefully worth reading) on the broad topic of business every two weeks, and what it must take for a pastor to come up with twenty minutes of spiritual direction every week, or what successful bands must go through when the pressure is on for their follow-up album, I realize what a real challenge consistent performance is. Like the senior pastor referenced, everybody has the capacity of one good performance.
What about you? When you think about your work team and your individual results, are you consistently topping the charts?