There can often be a misconception that a person working 100 hours a week is more successful than a peer logging half those hours. That’s not necessarily true, considering the metric "hours of hard work" doesn’t give a full picture of the results actually being achieved.
Mel Magazine featured an interview with Morten Hansen, author of the new book Great at Work, which surveyed 5,000 American workers of various backgrounds and industries to uncover the characteristics of high-performing, successful people in a work culture that sometimes emphasizes the optics of business and hard work versus results.
Some of the most common practices of high achievers include:
- Knowing How to Pick Your Priorities — Choose a few Priorities to focus on rather than spreading yourself thinly across too many.
- Creating Added Value — Find ways to Go the Second Mile in your role and make improvements that fall outside of your job description.
- Being Passionate and Purposeful — People need to care about what they’re doing and have direction towards the bigger picture. Make sure your company’s Core Purpose is clear and inspiring.
- Meeting to Make Decisions — Use weekly team meetings to make adjustments and decisions rather than waste time with status reports of everyone’s state a busy.
My other takeaways from the interview are:
- Time is Precious — Working more effectively can make your time and effort more efficient. Preventing distractions (respecting and having others respect your work time) maximizes that precious time, allowing you more of it to have a fulfilling work/life balance.
- Say “No” — Learning how to say “no” means you can stay focused and actually achieve what you’ve already prioritized.
- The X Factor — Hansen’s data acknowledges ⅓ of the reason why some people succeed over others is unexplainable. Some people just have the “talent, luck, experience, education....or they’re naturals.” Wait...what?
As a leader, take a good look at the culture you're creating. Do you reward people for hours worked, or for results achieved? Are you making it easier or harder for those high-achievers to be efficient, productive and successful?
Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images