Somewhere around 1993 Telemetrics International performed a study of 16,000 executives. They wanted to find out the difference between those that were high achievers and low achievers. Here is what they found:
High achievers tend to care about people as well as profits
Low achievers are preoccupied with their own security
There is certainly nothing wrong with being concerned about your own security, but what many fail to realize is that their own security is often tied to the profits of the company they work for. Now I don’t believe that your total security should be tied to your job, but one can take a lesson from those that excel. What is good for the company very often translates into being good for you as an individual.
High achievers view subordinates optimistically
Low achievers show a basic distrust of subordinates abilities
High achievers are always trying to bring people up with them. They find the positive in people’s abilities and find ways to assign tasks that speak to an individuals strengths. And why do these people get ahead? Because they have others below them pushing them up. Those that don’t believe that their underlings have much value will find that they don’t have anybody supporting them when opportunities for advancement come their way.
High achievers seek advice from their subordinates
Low achievers don’t
I don’t believe in leading by consensus, but I believe very strongly in getting the teams input before moving forward. Every person is able to contribute a unique perspective and their thoughts and opinions should be valued. You don’t have to look for a consensus, because that rarely happens, but going to your team for advice and input shows them that you truly value their insight. And that insight, good or bad, often helps a leader make the right decisions.
High achievers are listeners
Low achievers avoid communication and rely on policy manuals
There is nothing wrong with a good policy manual, but that should never replace open communication and collaboration. In our office we have both. The manual is there to provide the fine print so all the Is are dotted and Ts are crossed, but its the collaboration that draws out the best ideas and produces exceptional results.
If I asked, I think every reader here would say they want to be a high achiever. But look at these four things again and honestly answer to yourself, are you a high achiever or a low achiever? Where are you weak? Where are you strong? What changes do you need to make in order to be (not just want to be) a high achiever?