Two Keys to Becoming an Outstanding Performer

Today is Wednesday, so this post is on outstanding performance.

I was chatting with my friend, Nat Ricciardi, yesterday.  Nat is the President of Pfizer Global Manufacturing.  We were discussing what it takes to become an outstanding performer.  Nat said that he believes that there are two things that all outstanding performers have in common – a commitment to lifelong learning, and the willingness to work hard.

He showed me a crib sheet that one of the IT support desk people had prepared for him on how to become more efficient on his Blackberry.  He said, “This young guy was watching me enter all of the commands manually.  He said that it really slows me down, so he created a list of shortcuts for the commands I use most frequently.  I just got the list the other day, but I’ve been studying and using it.  I figure it will save me at least 30 minutes every day.”

Nat demonstrated both his commitment to lifelong learning and hard work in this comment.  Like me, he did not grow up in the digital age.  He is using technology like his Blackberry to keep in touch.  He reads and answers a lot of emails on his daily commute by train into New York City.  By using his Blackberry more efficiently, he doesn’t spend as much time at home in the evenings using his computer to answer e mail messages.  When you work over 12 hours a day, 30 minutes saved is a godsend.

Nat’s commitment to lifelong learning is demonstrated by his willingness to adopt new technology.  His commitment to hard work is demonstrated by the time he spends on his commute and at home keeping up with a very large email workload. 

I’ve had a similar experience.  I have decided to become proficient in using social media to help me promote my business.  This has taken a lot of reading and experimentation on my part.  However, I am beginning to learn what works for me and what doesn’t. 

This blog is an example of how I use social media.  I post it in seven different places every day.  In this way, I get maximum exposure for what I write.  All in all between writing and posting, I spend between 60 to 90 minutes a day, on this blog.  That’s 60 to 90 minutes that I could spend on something else, but I choose to spend this time on this blog because it’s worth it.

It’s worth it, because every day I learn more posting content that people want to read.  The time investment has paid off in new bookings.  This blog has introduced me to several new clients – people I would never had me through more traditional marketing and networking.

Here’s another example of how I am using Web 2.0 to build my business.  I am launching my new book “Straight Talk for Success” next Tuesday.  If you purchase a copy via on Tuesday, April 22, you will receive over $1,000 in downloadable bonuses.  I’ve learned a lot about Web 2.0 by putting together this campaign.  I’ve also had to work very hard to manage all of the details.  It seems that every time I finish one task, two or three more pop up. 

However, as successful authors tell me, writing the book is the easy part, promoting it takes more time and effort.  I’m working hard, putting in the time and effort it takes to make my book a best seller. 

The common sense point here is simple.  Outstanding performers are lifelong learners.  They are always looking for a slight edge.  They realize that the half life of knowledge is diminishing rapidly.  In order to stay on the edge, they read and study.  Then, they use what they have learned.  Also, outstanding performers set high goals for themselves.  Then to do whatever it takes to achieve those goals.  To paraphrase teleseminar guru, Alex Mandossian,  they don’t just do their best, they do whatever it takes to succeed.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense and to subscribe to my weekly newsletter “Common Sense.” 

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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