Putting "Pelts" Up on The Board

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 06:30
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Putting "Pelts" Up on the Board

Stay Focused on Success Factors

A bunch of years ago, while working in new product development marketing for a consumer products company, my colleague Allen McCormick neatly described for me how he viewed success in his role. "Putting pelts up on the board."

His point was clear. To him, his job wasn't simply about being smart, persuasive or diligent, although those things were important success factors. His job was to successfully navigate well-reasoned new products into the marketplace. That was the basis for how his performance was going to be measured by executive management.  

A couple of weeks ago, I asked a friend of mine about how things were going with her job. She remarked that things were fine, and then she quipped, "Everyone's job is the same, anyhow. Everyone seems to arrive, sit down in front of a computer and type on a keyboard all day." While she was (sort of) joking, her comment caused me to wonder about how many workers I've known over the years who showed up at the office and did their jobs, but didn't seem to strive to make a real difference. 

I believe that most corporate workers take pride in accomplishment, and do their work conscientiously and professionally. I'm simply wondering aloud about how many workers each of us knows who consistently focus on the company's goals and passionately engage in actively that further these...i.e. consistently "go the extra mile", versus those who primarily appear to engage in the act of working as an end in itself.

Those that pursue the former tend to build reputations as the "movers and shakers", and tend to be recognized and/or rewarded for their contributions. Those who pursue the latter, don't tend to fare too well in today's lean business environments.

As a business owner, I continually strive to focus my work efforts on activities that sustain my client base and build my consulting practice. I can't afford to spend time on activities that are simply of interest to me but don't contribute to my company's well-being. When I make good choices, my business benefits. When I make poor choices, my business suffers. I invite all of us to consider our respective business roles in this fashion. For some, it will simply reinforce what you already know and do. For others, it may be a wake-up call.

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