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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

The One Thing That Stops People From Getting Results

Performance review season is often a time of self-reflection for my clients. I see a lot of folks who come to me after working for more than ten years in their field without reaching the professional heights they expected. I get it, I’ve been there. You look around and see other people who are getting results despite not putting in the work. What gives?

Here’s what I ask my clients, and what I want you to ask yourself:

How are you defining your effort?

People tend to focus on measurable achievements. We work hard to check all the boxes: promotions, certifications, credentials. But by focusing so much on these external markers, you leave critical parts of your journey for someone else to shape. You've been so focused on the "doing" piece of your job that the social and networking aspects have fallen by the wayside. While you were nailing every performance metric and hitting all the home-runs you could, you may have been leaving the team-building and networking parts of your job by the wayside.

Demonstrating social competency, the ability to build consensus, and a mastery of your office’s particular political environment are crucial skills to getting that next-level position.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I'm not minimizing your work. Checking the boxes and hitting targets is a requirement for advancing. No question there, you need to be good at your job to qualify for a next-level position. But showing up involves demonstrating the social competencies that make for a huge portion of career growth.

Being a good team member, sharing your work, and agreement among your peers is what lets you take control of the narrative of your career.

If you're not in the room, people will craft a narrative around you that you'll be powerless to shape if you don’t have people on your side. So showing up for those meetings, being present, and demonstrating executive presence is critical for getting past the "day in day out" hamster wheel that keeps you staying in one place.

If you keep doing the same thing, they'll only give you more of that to do.

Taking the leap to building human connections is how you complete the body of work you have to do to advance. Being promoted is a social act, and the people above you in the organization have to feel that you're a capable leader who has the emotional intelligence to qualify for a higher position. Going to happy hours and helping out your team members is a big part of that work.

Don't be mad at the results you didn't get for the effort you didn't put in. So if you feel stuck, focus on the “being” part of your position just as much as you focus on the “doing” bit, because that’s how you take control of your narrative. Don’t let anyone else write your future for you.

If you need help identifying your narrative and the ways you can shape it, I'd love to help. Book a one on one with me and let's connect.

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