How to be Excellent at Work

Earlier this month I was promoted to become the HR Manager at Pinnacle, which is a lot of fun. I’m doing work I love with people I enjoy being around, so I couldn’t ask for more. This week I was talking with one of our managers and discussing what makes people successful at Pinnacle. I think it’s probably the same as most companies, but sometimes it’s hard to tell with the significant differences between large and small organizations. I wanted to share some of those thoughts here, and maybe this will help with some coaching discussions as we head into the performance appraisal season…

How to be successful

As fast as I can rattle them off:

  1. There’s no job too small. You’re never too good to do anything.
  1. Treat everyone with respect. There’s always time to help people who ask to some degree.
  2. Become known as the expert in something (or multiple things). People will want your advice, and there’s a chance they will actually take it if they solicit it up front.
  3. Do your work with excellence, but also know a little about a lot of other areas. Otherwise you’re in a vacuum and relatively ineffective.
  4. Build others up whenever you get the chance, even if they don’t reciprocate.
  5. Learn to love things that others hate. More below on this one.

Loving what others hate

The easiest non-work example I have of this is running. I absolutely love running hills. Why? Because everyone else hates them. If I practice enough, I can easily be better than others in that area, and it ultimately serves my needs of wanting to run faster/stronger.

It applies at work as well. Have a software package that everyone uses but nobody likes? Take an hour to learn the ins and outs (at least at a basic level) and next time people grumble, ask if they’ve tried x or y solution.

Learn about the biggest challenges people face and try to determine how to solve them. Even if you don’t, you’ll still learn more about the tool and how it works.

In the end, the goal isn’t to make others love it. It’s to become an indispensable piece of the workforce.

Additional reading

If any of this struck a chord with you, then I highly recommend that you check out “How to Be the Smartest Person in the Room” and “How to Become the Go To Person at Work