Learn how to hold yourself to a high standard, even if those around you are not.
- Are your peers your competition or are they the very people who can be instrumental to your success. Well the truth is, your peers can be a critical point in leveraging your leadership success, if you manage the relationship correctly. You see, you have the opportunity to lead by example and to invite others to adopt similar strategies. Let's look at the three kinds of peers that you'll probably come across in your career.
First there are your fellow high performers. When I was a young sales rep, at Procter & Gamble, one of the biggest mistakes I made was viewing my peers as my competition. Here's what I wish someone had told me. I wish someone had said, "Look around this room. "The people you see here are the people "you're going to be doing deals with in 20 years. "You're going to be VPs and CEOs and executives. "You all need to get to know each other, "so you can rely on each other in the future." So that's what I'm saying to you now.
Identify the other high performers and engage with them. Even if no one has called out the language and behaviors we're talking about in this course, Leading Yourself, your fellow high achievers are already doing this. So use this group to help you and offer to help them as well. 30 years ago I didn't know that one day I would be the President of my own consulting firm, and that my peers would be running other organizations; and we would eventually become each other's colleagues and customers.
In hindsight, I wish I had known back then, there is plenty of success to go around. Your fellow high performers can be a source of strength, for life. So share strategies and milestones. It creates accountability and it can reduce isolation. The second group of peers are the middle performers. With middle performers, you have the opportunity to take people higher. This group may respond to you with confusion or curiosity, but don't take a lack of immediate understanding or agreement as a negative.
Some people are just confused. They might not quite understand what leading yourself means. You can help them. If you find someone who wants to learn, you have the opportunity to teach. Finally, there are the low performers. You want to stay as far aways from these people as possible. If you've brought up things like assessing yourself or personal goal setting or trying to lead yourself out of failure, and they met it with a laugh or you were told you care too much, that is your clue.
Go in the other direction. Some people you meet, they're going to think you're just a big nerd, but the office gossip is going to be a lot less cool when they're sitting in that same cubicle 20 years from now. Do not let these people get you down. Not everybody is self motivated or looking to grow. That's okay. You will never do great things if you wait for everybody around you to buy in. Leading yourself is challenging, especially when the people around you are not.
But stay focused. If you want to behave like everyone else, you'll wind up very average. Instead, leading yourself takes initiative and it takes commitment. And those are the qualities of high performers.
LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com) is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Managing your mindset
- Assessing your leadership needs
- Motivating yourself
- Leading yourself in tough times
- Managing your behavior
- Setting goals
- Giving yourself an honest performance review
- Managing your boss
- Peer to peer leadership