Those people who seem to have success without really working for it or those who work their tail off to even have a modicum of success? For me, the latter group is a no brainer as I will always side with the Rocky Balboa’s and the Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger’s of the world. My respect is most earned by the road you travel to arrive at your destination (goal) and not so much by those who “inherit” their position by one means or another.
Another trait that I admire in individuals is when they focus on their dreams and they let nothing deter their efforts to achieve their goals. We have all heard the story of how Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team as a freshman and I recently heard the story of how Russell Westbrook, the All-Star point guard of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was lightly recruited out of high school and more than one college recruiter suggested that he should run track instead of playing basketball. They obviously worked through any self-doubts and went back to chasing their dreams. I also believe, besides a lot of natural talent, they simply out-worked everyone along the way. The extra mile is quite often a lonely road, but they were willing to do everything within their power to achieve success.
I’ll ask you the same questions that I ask myself when I question my own personal effort and productivity:
- Are you willing to go the extra mile when meeting the needs of your customers, students, etc.?
- How competitive are you? Can you be competitive each and every day to provide to your customers? Everyone is pretty good, but what do you need to do to be “great” at what I do?
- Do you have the creativity and freedom to be different in your job? What makes you unique and special and can you think of strategic ways to maximize your abilities? Have you done anything recently that pushes the boundaries of your job description?
- Do you have the hunger and burning desire to win and succeed while developing relationships with your stakeholders (customers/students)?