Being at our best

24 06 2010

Recently a few situations and chats with people spark this thought.

If mediocrity and “incompetence” is rewarded (either indirect or direct), what is the motivation to do well?

There’s a few factors of motivation.

Motivation can come from external sources or within oneself. Often I find that people who are motivated internally, have that “I do my best, and to the best I can” attitude. Such people do not settle for less.

There are also those who find that if doing the bare minimal can get by, why not? After all, it’s just work and the company only pay us so much. What better if they learn the language that the management likes to hear, all that is required is to talk the right language versus actually doing.

There are many different kind of roles in an organisation/world. Some requires good verbal communication skills, e.g. sales or training, others may require action – the actual doing. Some roles require leadership skills, people management skills compared to specialist skills. It’s really a matter of developing and demonstrating the qualities and skill set required for that role, and then performing at your best.

In a space where people are even more connected to others, no matter physical or geographical distance, it’s hard to get away with a poor reputation. People do observe and talk, and in many cases, we are mirrors of others, and vice versa. So why is that some people have been “getting away” with doing less than their best?

Now, by using the term “getting away”, it implies judgement. It implies a comparison of situations, often a personal value or bias used to determine “fairness”.

Life, I feel, is not unfair. We all co-exist in this environment, and all have a part to play. There will be things that we like, and some that don’t feel as right to us. The key is to surround ourselves with more of the likes.

I like the idea, as discussed in the book “The leader who had no title”, that the world is a better place if we can all just do our very best, and nothing less. If we all aim to be our very best as a human being, and be connected at the heart where the very intent and core value is pure, the world will be a better place.

I believe that we are moving towards that kind of world, just that there are many many old habits and “infrastructure” that has established over the years need to be broken down, and we are in the process of re-learning and rebuilding.

Like-minded people will gather together, doing what they do best, and collectively, achieve more than what an individual may be able to do.

I’m certainly looking forward to work with more like-minded people, and also refining and connecting back to my own true self, pursuing the passion and becoming the best that I am meant to be.

I am that I am. So are you.

Being me

12 03 2008

I attend a lunch talk yesterday, in celebration of International Women’s Day. The forum was about Achieving Balance, Fuelling growth.

There were 4 speakers, female leaders in their own right, senior leaders in the corporate organisation, a MP and the boss of an executive search firm. The topics touched on women being catalysts of change, finding a balance between choices and how women can climb the career ladder.

The session that strike me the most was on finding a balance between choices. The speaker was sharing her story, about how she almost wanted to quit her job because she felt guilty for not being there with her young children due to work commitments. To her surprise, her family all discouraged her to do that because they could see that she was enjoying what she does at work.

I went through a similar dilemma before. It was definitely not like I was at the peak of my career, a top honcho in an organisation, but I felt the guilt of not being with the kids when I was travelling initially in my new role. Thankfully it was just a short period of time, and I had the support from my husband and family.

Society norms often see the female as the nurturer, the caregiver for the family. Now this definition and stereotype has proven that it’s not about gender, it’s about what this individual is about. Men – breadwinner, Women – caregiver? Many women end up striving to be this super-woman: mum, wife, career woman etc. All of us, men included, face stereotypes but do those social norms matter at the end? 

There are reasons why these women are leaders in the corporate world. They love what they do, and they made one point clear:  we have to define our priorities in life. What matters to one person may not be important to another person. In our own ways, we are leaders of our life, and we find our niche in this society. When we are happy within, it shows and it’s absolutely impossible to please everyone.

Not everyone wants to be up there in the corporate world. Many that I know want a stable job, time for family and personal pursuits. When you want more, you do more, and it requires a delicate balancing act. These women at the top work their way there, using their own talent, experiences, and certainly some level of sacrifices to get to where they are, but the end result that is important: to be happy.

To be happy with what you do, who you are. It’s a simple philosophy, many of us want to be happy but aren’t sure WHAT makes us happy. So we struggle through life, finding that what others prescribed as success may mean nothing for us.

My takeaway from that session: I’m happy where I am, who I am. I am good now.