No matter where you work, you owe yourself a duty to be excellent in whatever you do.
The first part of this article discussed a sense of integrity; continuous learning and improvement, as well as speed and excellence of execution as some of the behaviour that excites employers. Here are some more attributes.
Competence in information technology
Information technology has become an important contributor to productivity and corporate competitiveness. Today, it is rare to find an institution that does not utilise or depend on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in one form or another.
Whether you are operating in the manufacturing, FINANCE, banking, governance, education, NGO or even in the informal economy, you will find yourself using computers, the Internet and some other technologies on a day-to-day basis. Many organisations are increasingly becoming paperless.
Today it is common to find pastors or speakers delivering messages from iPads with the complement of projectors, while students are using smart phones and devices to record and transmit lectures with ease.
The use of information technology often increases the pace of work and allows one to enter, process and analyse huge volumes of data while performing other complicated tasks. The Internet also serves as a critical source of information for any kind of endeavour.
All these, combined with mobile telephony and related technologies as well as the email, instant messaging and social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, have transformed the pace and form of modern business.
Over one billion questions are asked on Google a day, while over seven billion text messages are sent each day, more than the entire population of the world.
Interestingly, in spite of the growing importance of ICT, a recent survey suggested that one in seven office workers in the UK still needs help switching on a computer, while a fifth struggle to save a document and need assistance when printing.
Anyone seeking to make an impact or grow their careers must of a necessity master the use of relevant communication tools.
Not too long ago, advertisements generally required the successful candidate to have a working knowledge of basic computer operating software.
Today, familiarity with technology and software is not enough. A strong mastery of software like word processors, spreadsheets and presentations are the required foundation.
A candidate who uses relevant software with dexterity is more likely to hit the ground running and have a brighter chance of success than the one who only has a fair idea about them.
A positive “Can-Do” attitude
Every leader wants to be surrounded by optimists. Running any kind of organisation can be a very demanding task. Leaders are often confronted by seemingly insurmountable challenges that require total focus and the commitment of the entire team.
They, therefore, find themselves attracted to team members who have a sense of possibility and an attitude that says “it can be done.”
What makes a champion different from the average person? Do they have more skills or expertise? Are their circumstances perfect? Are they endowed with exceptional natural talents? Do they have more money or greater opportunities? Or, is it simply good luck? The answer is that none of these things by themselves can create a champion. In fact, most top performers have had to deal with seemingly insurmountable challenges.
So, what makes the difference? Studies show again and again that the difference is the champion’s attitude. True champions have a unique, positive outlook—an unfailing belief that focused, consistent effort will yield successful results.
The most powerful and predictable motivator for success is a positive mental attitude. Achievers are always motivated to act because they expect their actions to lead to successful, positive results. If you want to rise fast in your organisation and make a mark in your career you need a positive mental attitude.
Versatility & functionality
Everyone is hired by an organisation to play a particular role which is often spelt out in the person’s job description. However, in the course of work situations sometimes arise that fall outside the defined role but which require action for the achievement of the collective goals of the organisation.
People who are able to consistently make contributions beyond their regular scope of work are likely to rise or excel in any institution. Every leader wants someone who simply gets things done.
Functionality refers to the penchant to consistently deliver expected outcomes in key areas. If you want to excel and be a star in your workplace, you have to build a reputation as someone who can be trusted to get different things done. To be versatile is to be able to adapt to different kinds of situations.
Change is inevitable and both at the individual and organisational level, we have to deal with different stages in life and business, each with their own challenges, opportunities and requirements for success. A person must be flexible to be able to maintain his or her focus in different situations.
Successful people are able to adapt themselves to any situation they face and keep pressing towards their goals. They know how to ‘abase and abound.’ Leadership in any field requires an ability to survive when your resource base suddenly shrinks and sponsors pull out of your project.
On the other hand, it may also mean making changes to your person or plan where necessary in order to move on to greater heights. People who are able to consistently generate results in different kinds of situations often make rapid progress up the organisational ladder.
A sense of personal discipline
This is probably one of the most important foundations for personal and career success and growth. Napoleon Hill spent 20 years studying the richest people in America as part of an assignment given to him by Andrew Carnegie to unravel the master key to riches.
In the end, he concluded that the most common attribute he found among them all was a sense of self-discipline, which he described as “Doing what you have to do, when you have to do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
Doing the right thing when no one is observing you is a mark of self-discipline. Being faithful to your appointments on a cold rainy day is a sign that you are alive to your responsibility.
Stars do not make it a habit to give excuses or blame others for their failures. They have an internal locus of control and that means that they look at themselves for answers; whether it be to find out what went wrong or to fashion out a solution.
Achievers take responsibility for getting things done and go the extra mile even when things are tough just to deliver the desired results.
Albert & Comfort Ocran are Management Consultants, Executive Coaches and Authors of several personal development books including the bestseller, “Career Starter Pack” and the latest “Speak Like A Pro.” E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.