Carol was visibly shaken on the other end of the phone.
Karin, you know that new job I got, well I lost it. I mean, it's not really my fault, the contract they had anticipated didn't come through. I get it. But what bothers me more than anything is what my boss said a few days after I got the news. He said, “You never showed up in any meeting as well as you did in the interview. That was disappointing.” So I wonder if I could have saved my job, if I had showed up differently.
The thing is, I didn't prepare for any of those other meetings like I did for the interview. For the interview, I thought through every possible question and rehearsed my answers. I made sure I got a good night sleep the night before. I was careful to showcase my expertise. What makes me so mad (at myself) is that I'm 50 years old and am just now learning this. The need to prepare and always be your on your game is so obvious.
It's never too late to up your game.
3 Ways to Rock Your Role this Year
“I worked hard. Anyone who works as hard as I did can achieve the same results.”
– Johann Sebastian Bach
Whenever anyone asks me the secret to my career success, my answer is simple. I work very, very hard. Yes, I've had great mentors, built great teams, gotten a few breaks… but honestly at the end of the day, the common denominator in any success I can think of has been– effort.
Carol's not alone. It's hard to bring your A game 100% of the time. But there are people who are giving that a shot. Want this year to be your best year ever? Rock your role.
- Perform at Concert Level Every Day
When I was in high school our band director drilled into us the cliché, “Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” Hokey but true. If you want to be seen as an A player, perform at your very best even when you think it doesn't matter. People will notice, and you'll get better each day you show up stronger.
- Find the Hook
The hook is the part of the song you find yourself humming 17 years later when you walk down the street. In Winning Well terms, this is the MIT (Most Important Thing). If you want a truly stand-out year pick the right success to be known for, and nail it. Start by talking to your boss. Ask, “What could I accomplish this year that would add real strategic value?” “What contribution could I make that would turn a few heads?” And then work with your team to establish a strategic plan for execution. Focus on the behaviors you would need to perform every day to build toward that success.
- Learn From the Virtuosos
If you want to rock your role, you can't just keep doing what you've always done. You need to hone your craft. Read what the experts are saying about the future in your field. Find a mentor or two who has skills you admire. Invest in a leadership development program for you and your team.
It's never to late to sing a stronger song. What will you do to rock your role this year?