Getting out of the pile was something I just did by being who I am, but later learned what it meant from another great leader and quasi-mentor for me, the famous Jack Welch. Jack Welch says it best. In every company, every organization, there is a pile, a pile of people all (well most) trying to climb the ladder within that organization. So how do you get out of that pile? I accomplished getting out of the pile in three organizations that I have worked for and reflecting on my ascension of getting out of the pile was unique, but revolved around the same core principles in all three company’s no matter what the challenges were in the very different businesses.
I am planning on writing on this topic over the next three blogs. I don’t really have a defined number of principles, maybe I will after I blog, just a lot of philosophical beliefs and passion that I hope to illustrate.
Results: This one is number one for a reason: It doesn’t matter what you do, if you don’t have good results, none of the other stuff I write even matters. In the Five Major Pieces of the Life Puzzle: Jim Rohn says “Results are the best measurement of human progress.” “We must make measurable progress in reasonable time.” Your results are in direct proportion to the activity and effort you put in to pursuing results for a given goal. In the first sentence I carefully chose the word “good” results, because I believe you don’t have to have “great” results to get out of the pile, when you have good results along with some of the other principles I will discuss, I have shown you can get out of the pile. I have had great results in some cases and good results in some cases.
Give more than what is asked for: Nothing earth shattering here, but profound nonetheless. If you are sitting there reading this. Ask your self: “Are you really giving more than what is asked of you?” Zig Ziglar says it like this: “When you do more than you get paid for, eventually you’ll be paid for more than you do.” I have worked with lots of people who think they are doing more than they are asked to do, and I have been one of those people. Ex: My first leadership position I had a terrible boss. This person, was the one who didn’t give any credit, always criticized, and we really just had a bad relationship. Guess what: That person wasn’t going anywhere. So I had to change. So what did I do? I just worked harder. I made sure I beat them to work everyday, I went way above and beyond in everything I did. Our relationship changed after that, but for things to change I had to change, the only thing I have control over, is me.
Never be satisfied: This is a hard one for me to articulate and it is also one that I struggle with everyday on trying to find that perfect balance. As a leader you do have to celebrate the little wins, if not your team will want to shoot you, because you are never happy. However that is when you are a leader, as a person trying to get out of the pile, your manager will appreciate the fact that you believe that there is always a better way and you can do better next time. Never being satisfied will keep you hungry, it will keep you pursuing, it will keep you striving. Leaders in an organization appreciate the people who are constantly seeking excellence and those who seek more, better, and faster.
Choose well: Who do you associate with. I learned this lesson a few times. In every organization there are different people within a team, or department, and the organization. Typically four groups. The Ninja’s: They are the ones that are the silent killers. The ones who gossip, they are not bought in, and really hurt the culture of a team. Good leaders typically sniff them out. Hostages: They are the ones that don’t want to be there and think that every thing sucks and in their minds they feel like they are a hostage, and really they do have an option to quit, but they never do, they just complain all of the time. Vacationers: Just seeing how long they can hang out and not do too much. Don’t really add very much to the organization. Hanging out for the time being until something better comes along. Learners and Doer’s: These are the ones that seek to add to the organization, they constantly volunteer and go above and beyond in everything they do. So if your want to get out of the pile who should you associate with? I think it is obvious.
Stay tuned for future blogs and insights on how to get out of the pile.