Health Fitness

Smoothing of rough edges

How rough are your edges? What aspects of your professional life need to be softened, polished, developed or refined? Do you understand what it takes to bridge the gap between success and true greatness as it applies to you? We’ve all known truly talented executives and entrepreneurs who, while successful, still have a huge barrier holding them back from reaching their full potential…themselves. In today’s post, I’m going to talk about how to overcome the final hurdle between success and greatness, which is often the barrier of self.

Over the years, I’ve come to believe that the career talent curve is made up of a range consisting of the low end, the midpoint, the high end, and various points in between. The least successful are those professionals whose talent and skill far exceed their level of performance. The achievers are those who perform at the level of their ability, and the achievers are the few whose performance consistently outshines their natural ability. Professionals at the upper end of the talent curve have learned to grow beyond their self-imposed limits and have developed their skills and competencies to levels they never thought they were capable of.

I can’t tell you how many successful professionals I’ve known have lost key employees, been unable to close substantial deals or lost significant opportunities, had clients consciously make the decision to work with less talented professionals or companies simply because they were tired of attitude/ego/arrogance, their company stagnating, or any number of other tragic and avoidable circumstances simply because they were unwilling or unable to acknowledge their own shortcomings and do what it took to smooth over the rough edges and take their game to the next level .

Okay, you own your own company or run someone else’s, you’ve had your fair share of media attention and industry accolades, you’ve accomplished many of your goals, and you make a better living than most… The most important questions are:

1. Are you successful or are you a true success? Do you know the difference?

2. Are you happy and truly feel successful or are you frustrated that you haven’t reached your full potential?

3. Have you really maximized your potential, or do you even recognize what that is?

4. Are you making others successful and do others see you as a true success?

5. How do you know what you don’t know?

The difference between being successful and being truly successful is bridging the gap between being good and becoming great. I think it was Shakespeare who said, “Don’t be afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some are made great.” Whether greatness is inherited, earned, or stumbled upon, it cannot be sustained without constant effort to refine and develop your skills and abilities. An arrogant confidence in what has worked in the past will only get you so far. It’s all too common to see professionals harness intellect, aggressiveness, creativity, innate leadership ability, charisma, or other positive traits to succeed. However, it’s rare to see professionals take those same traits and actually develop them to the point of greatness.

If you are not constantly working to improve yourself, you will eventually hit a plateau and the only way to break the plateaus that will inevitably arise is to continually improve your skills and further develop your talent. Let’s say for the sake of argument that you are indeed the best at what you do. Does this mean that there is no room for improvement and that you should not seek help and advice from others?

Let’s use Tiger Woods as an example… As of this writing, he has won 7 of his last 14 starts and is undoubtedly the most dominant golfer on the PGA tour. However, he still has a coach, practices frequently to improve his game, and has a team of professionals surrounding him with the goal of increasing his performance level. He’s already considered great, but he’s constantly working to improve his competitive edge in order to build on what he’s accomplished and stay great instead of falling from greatness.

My recommendation for those at the upper end of the talent curve who want to go from being successful to becoming truly successful is to get out of their bubble and be honest with themselves. No need to succumb to the slavery of self… Find a mentor who can credibly assess your strengths and weaknesses, understand your goals, and help you see the things you can’t see yourself, others won’t tell you, or even if you don’t. They tell you that you refuse to acknowledge. Get out of yourself and start the journey from good to great.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *