I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, “Work hard now so you won’t have to in the future.” Growing up, I thought this meant go to college and study hard to get a comfortable job. What I didn’t realize was that working hard applied even more so after college.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been grinding since I started college. That’s just how it is working in sports, especially early on. I worked three different jobs in three different states in three years. Believe it or not, I recently thought I was close to a place where the grind would slow down.
I’ve gotten to the point in my career where colleagues have begun recommending me for jobs. When it first happened, I thought it was a fluke. Then it happened again… and again. I started to let this get to my head. I was achieving more in my current role and people were starting to recognize my hard work.
Two weeks ago at another conference, a leadership conference called LeaderCast, I got a wake up call. One of the speakers, Kat Cole, explained her “Hot Shot” rule. She explains how many of us are blinded by our own progress. She asked us to think back to our first day at our current job. You probably look back and remember how big your to-do list was and all the things you were going to change for the better, right? I sure did. Then she asked us to imagine a new person at our desk tomorrow. What would they be thinking? Probably the same thing, that this is the worst it is going to get. They would probably be imagining all sorts of ways to upgrade what you did.
So, now what? The Hot Shot rule. Cole says to pick one thing to do differently every week and take immediate action on it. But that’s only the beginning. The next part may be the hardest for some people - she encouraged us to share that one thing with our team. By doing so, it would demonstrate vulnerability and encourage your team to do the same and buy in. Now, here’s the best part. Just imagine how much better your team would get if you got one action item better each week.
Now I’m looking at all the things I’ve accomplished this past year in my position and realizing how much more I can build. I thought I was reaching a plateau when in reality it was my thinking that was limited. I’m sure one day the grind will slow for me, but right now I’m invigorated to continue to strive for success.