Consider this a post script to The Secret to Making Work Your Art. If you haven’t read it, do that first. The post how to cultivate the creative principles required of an artist and apply them to our work.
In your journey to excel in meaningful work, there’s an additional item that I wished I’d been told early on.
In his book, The Ultimate Sales Machine, (which is a must read for anyone wanting to be successful) the late Chet Holmes describes two things that drive the SUPERSTAR high achievers vs. the average producer.
These folks have high levels of both these characteristics that without the other, leave a professional void.
- High Empathy. They have the unescapable quality within them to bond with other people; to connect, serve, and please. This is what makes them likable and keep the ongoing relations to have clients continue to buy. I’ll have to admit, this is the most difficult for me to foster. Most cases, I think I know what is required to make something work and can be easily flustered when others aren’t getting it. It’s a trait that my wife is the best at and I have to consciously focus on. In which she helps 🙂
- Self -Esteem. Don’t misunderstand, it takes an incredible level of self-esteem to continue to push for something after you’ve been told no, or it’s not likely to happen, or to convince someone you’re the best for the job. High achievers possess this within themselves and BELIEVE they are the best.
High self-esteem without empathy are the ingredients for the metaphorical “bull in the china shop.”
High empathy without high self-esteem make for a great shoulder to cry on, which are great in a friend, but don’t produce results in the business world.
Skills are a requirement for achievement. If we feel in no misguided sense that we have a high level of practical skill, but can’t seem to excel, it is essential to examine our attitude and dispensation towards others.
On the other hand, if everyone likes us, but we’re always overlooked for promotion or lack results, then it’s time to get some skills. Learn from someone, read a book, ask some questions, attend a seminar. Something.
Go work with impact!