Outstanding Performers Succeed Because They Do What They Must Do, Not Just What They Like Doing

Outstanding performance is one of the five keys to career and life success.  Outstanding performers are lifelong learners.  They set and achieve high goals.  They are organized for success.

In this post, I’d like to discuss the importance of hard work and effort in achieving your goals.  The other day, I came across a quote from Earl Nightingale. “Successful people form the habit of doing what failures don’t like to do. They like the results they get by doing what they don’t necessarily enjoy.”

I know that this sounds like the Protestant work ethic in overdrive – doing what you don’t enjoy.  However, I think this is great common sense advice. 

Here’s an example.  I’ve run my executive coaching, consulting and speaking business for 20 years now.  Early on, I learned the importance of managing receivables.  I don’t like to generate invoices and follow up at 30, 45 and 60 days, but I do it, because it’s necessary.  If I don’t generate and mail the invoices, I don’t get paid.  And, while I love what I do, I still need to get paid for doing it.

So, I have developed a system for helping me managed my receivables.  I send invoices twice a month – on the 15th and the last day of the month.  I keep a tickler file to remind me when to follow up – at 30, 45 and 60 days.  In this way, I am able to manage my cash flow.  I have forced myself to get into the habit of doing something I don’t enjoy — managing receivables; and I like the results – money in my checking account.

What parts of your job do you not like?  What do you do to make sure you excel at them?

The common sense point here is simple.  Heed Earl Nightingale’s advice.  Do all the parts of your job well – not just those parts that you enjoy doing.  This takes discipline and effort.  However, this discipline and effort will pay off in the long run.  You will become known as an outstanding performer – one who gets things done.  And outstanding performance is one of the five keys to a successful life and career.

Those are my thoughts on doing what is necessary, not just what you like to do.  What are yours?  As always, I’m interested in your perspective on these thoughts.  I welcome and appreciate your comments.  Thanks for reading.


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