Becoming a Star Performer

What does it take to be a star performer? Hard work, talent, determination, a positive attitude, support from others? The answer lies in a combination of these things. But first, let’s define star performers. Stars are people who are on top of their game, make their work look effortless, and produce very positive results. Think about actors. Whether it is Bradley Cooper, Will Smith, Sandra Bullock or Jennifer Lawrence, they all have something in common. When their final products, the movies, are released, their performance looks so natural that the audience doesn’t even think about the hours, work, and effort that went into the production. You may think this analogy doesn’t apply to you. Those people are uniquely gifted and talented, thus only reserved for a few. That is not true. In our work and careers, being a star performer is an attitude toward ourselves and our commitment to excellence. If we believe in our own abilities and set goals that propel us forward, then we are on the path to success. Our ability to recognize our strengths and build upon them, and to be honest about our development needs and improve them, makes us stars. Here are some facts about star performers, as cited from a Carnegie Mellon Institute report of 700 companies: 1. They are usually not geniuses. The most successful people did not have high triple digit IQs. Because they weren’t in the extreme upper echelon of academic intelligence, they worked harder, and made the most of their talent. 2. Extremely long hours didn’t contribute to their success. On average, they worked fewer hours than the average performers. They are confident, achievement oriented, accept that they will make some mistakes, and won’t win every deal. They put life in balance and that contributes to being very effective with the hours they do work. 3. Stars make more money, tend to be more satisfied, and have more fun. Here is another interesting fact about stars. They can point to someone in their careers who served as coaches or mentors. When they work with someone who guides them, and enables them to set realistic but challenging stretch goals, the stars achieve more and enjoy more than average performers. They experience success in many different ways. About the author: Diane Allen, PCC is a professional certified coach, leadership development consultant and founder of the Strategic Leadership Academy (www.strategicleadershipacademy.com). She has spent the past twelve years helping senior leaders and middle managers build success by building their personal and organizational leadership skills. For a complimentary Tip Sheet on “4 Strategies to Be a Star” please send an email to: info@strategicleadershipacademy.com and put “4 Star Actions” in the subject line.

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