Right now, I am firmly in the middle of my professional career. I am a Generation X person. I see a number of executives in their upper 60’s and 70’s and some people never stop. Other people’s performance has fallen off substantially. If you are working toward being a leader, you really need to be aware of how others view performance. This year I have experienced a wide number of views with respect to how people look at their own performance. Too often, I have seen people who frankly are checked out at work and have a hard time doing anything.
Today, I want to really focus on another issue I see with adult workers, those workers who have a mindset of what they have accomplished from their past experience. This type of perception can be really damaging to the specific person and those he/she come in contact with.
As a leader, you need to recognize the signs and encourage these type of people to be more productive and kindly remind them that past work was great, but you need them to be more productive today.
Recognize the signs:
If people constantly talk about people they talked to over the weekend or at a conference, they basically are trying to prove that who they are connected to is better than the person who they are speaking to.
When someone talks about how their accomplishments from 10+ years ago really made a difference, listen carefully. Again, they are trying to prove that their worth is based on act that occurred from their past.
People who focus on past connections are those people who go to conferences and trade shows and they only focus on getting together with only those people in their circles.
These type of people also look for ways to discredit other people’s accomplishments.
These people typically believe they already have knowledge based on past accomplishments and are really not looking to grow and learn. These people believe they have already earned their keep and they should reap the benefits of their past accomplishments.
The Takeaway Here:
Make sure you don’t get sucked into a discussion with these type of people. If you are taking it upon yourself to learn and grow, then you are already making a difference.
Focus on where you want to go in the future, not how great you have been in the past.
Make sure you create a to-do list everyday at work. This way you will always be focused on the future and not the past.
The biggest takeaway here is managing your time. Recognize the signs, and try to associate more with people who want to make a difference in the future. Stories are great if their ultimate ending leads to something in the future. Stories regarding past history are for family and friends for special times of reflection.
Continue to push forward and lead. If you start finding yourself looking back all the time, take a moment and begin to look forward. The best part is you can always start somewhere and learn. Sadly, many people still have a hard time with this concept.
Final Comment for Marketing Executives
If your corporate culture is made up of managers and executives who have these type of characteristics, seize the opportunity to make a difference. People who look forward and not backward are much more successful than their counterparts and can bring new excitement to a staggering culture. Challenge yourself each day to make a difference. Give people a glimpse of what the future can be. Start getting others to buy into your vision and start making a difference. You will see results. Stay out of political backlash talks and look for ways to drive conversation out in the open. This process can be a viral one and I am starting to see the fruits of my own labor because I am experiencing it as we speak.
Keep persevering one day at a time and don’t give in or give up!