Most of us want to be more than just the status quo. We work hard to excel, to be something more. However, from time-to-time, we say or do things that make us appear mediocre. For example, we might complain about how many times we’ve been passed over for a promotion. Expressing frustration is fine, but accepting a “victim” mentality is counterproductive to our future growth.
By becoming accountable for everything we can control, we avoid the “average” mentality. It’s best when we look inward when problems or issues arise. Let’s resist the temptation to blame others for the tough times we are experiencing.
#1: Can’t stop looking at the clock, especially near 5 pm.
We all want to get home at the end of the day, and that is normal. However, I know many people who turn off their minds around 4:30 pm, if not earlier. They are ready to end the workday activities, and get home as soon as the clock strikes 5 pm.
An average person is a clock-watcher. We need to work up until the assigned time, and more when necessary. If you are unhappy where you presently work, and can’t wait to get out the door, it might be time to visit Monster.com.
#2: Envious when others do well.
The average person doesn’t have the desire and wherewithal to do better, or to go the extra mile. For that reason, it’s far easier to speak badly about those doing well.
The negative comments include:
- “Mary just received the promotion to Branch Manager. She is way out of her league!”
- “Sam finished his doctorate last week. I’m sure the student loans will make him file for bankruptcy!”
- “No one really cares about management positions here. Jack is stupid for working so hard.”
- “Darlene’s presentation was just okay. The content was suspect. The execs were swayed by the stupid animation. Other than PowerPoint skills, she is mostly incompetent!”
Instead of criticizing others, it’s more prudent to work on our skills. The competition is fierce, and sitting still will lead to obsolescence.
#3: Constantly expecting positive encouragement.
An average person loves non-stop encouragement. When they stay an extra 15 minutes after work to work on a job assignment, they make sure to let their manager’s know. They want to make sure others know they have done a bit more than is expected.
Positive feedback and encouragement are important in employee development, to be sure. However, top performers are focused on deliverables, and understand that the big rewards come down the line. In other words, they have the confidence to perform the work, even when encouragement is lacking.
The average approach is easy. It’s similar to quitting. What does a quitter do? Nothing! We must avoid falling in the victim trap. This occurs when we feel that the system is against us. We feel helpless.
The fact is that the system is structured to help us succeed. However, success will only come to those who are action-oriented. We must assume full responsibility for our work. We cannot wait for things to fall into place. Instead, it’s imperative that we ensure that we are prepared for the opportunities when they arise.