“If you are doing what you do for reward and recognition, you are already off to the wrong start!”ABE
In my last article, I spoke in-depth to the importance of possessing a growth mindset and the type of attributes required to truly position yourself for professional growth. Passion over talent was emphasised as a core ingredient for success as it provides the courage and tenacity necessary to overcome the challenges faced throughout the professional journey. Employees that are passionate about what they do tend to focus heavily on continuous improvement of self, the impact they can make within the business and their overall contribution. Consistency was also highlighted as another important attribute for anyone with a growth mindset.
Yet, there is another important aspect that we must consider on the journey to success: Gratitude!
Gratitude Shifts Your Mindset
As the saying goes “gratitude changes everything and what you appreciate, appreciates“. As you embark on your career, reposition yourself within your organisation or start up a new business, cultivating an attitude of gratitude can have a significant impact on your overall progress.
This approach highlights to your supervisors, managers, team leads or other key influencers that you are truly appreciative of the opportunities afforded to you; causing you to remain top of mind for future opportunities or projects.
Focusing on increasing your performance and creating value by raising your hand to volunteer for tasks is an excellent growth strategy…..be the first to offer to help! However, the real value comes from doing this without expecting any applause, recognition or rewards.
One must never allow the desire to be recognised or rewarded become more important than their ultimate performance. Always practice making your contribution bigger than your reward. Simply put; adopting a zero entitlement attitude and performing in such a way that causes an impact, will most definitely fuel your growth.
Gratitude Brings Rewards
During my first year as Marketing Officer supporting a team of four newly hired managers tasked with building out the bank’s suite of credit card products across the regional market, I was literally drowning in work. Also new to my role, I found myself being pulled left to right by each manager who had really aggressive strategic plans and growth targets. Furthermore, my boss, the Head of Sales and Marketing depended heavily on me to coordinate, track and report on the unit’s progress, in addition to my core tasks.
Being the “go-to” for a team of high performance, high demanding managers who were focused on making an impact and therefore moving faster than lightning, presented a real challenge that forced me to quickly up my game (sometimes I think I worked harder that year than any other year throughout my entire career). By the end of the first year, I had successfully put processes and other structures in place to ensure I was “working smarter and not harder.” Of course, staying ahead of the team was necessary to effectively manage the unit, which came with some serious personal sacrifice.
The feedback received on my performance that year-end was all the motivation I needed to keep going! By the beginning of the following year, the management team was selected to visit the BarclayCard Center in the UK. But guess what? I too was selected to join them! Needless to say, besides the excitement of my first business trip, the experience was like none other and the knowledge acquired during the week long training took me, my performance and my contribution within the unit to a whole new level.
The practice of going above and beyond and setting my standards higher than anyone expected of me, while remaining grateful for each opportunity presented to learn and grow was what really afforded me that amazing development opportunity. From that moment on, it became crystal clear the importance of doing the right thing consistently and allowing the rewards to follow.
Gratitude is a Must
“The best version of you is a grateful you…..”John Maxwell
While positioning yourself for growth, you will definitely find yourself functioning outside of your comfort zone, as the two simply do not co-exist. Whether this comes in the form of having to acquire new skills in order to complete a task or negative feedback from your peers.
Having an attitude of gratitude throughout your journey causes you to express thankfulness for the opportunities presented in both your professional and personal life. It also helps you to balance any negativity that may creep in when challenges arise; seeing setbacks or drawbacks simply as life lessons. Embracing gratitude as a recipe for success also helps to foster better relationships within the workplace, while helping to shape your personal brand within your networking circle.
Showing genuine appreciation for colleagues, mentors and key influencers that guide you along your professional journey should also remain top of mind. To this day, I make a special effort to stay connected to all my past leaders or close colleagues that were instrumental in my career development.
Don’t Block Your Blessings
“Be thankful for what you have: you will end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough!”Oprah Winfrey
It is important that you realise that new opportunities will continue to be presented to those employees most grateful for their past experiences. Starting today, shift your focus to creating more value and continue raising the bar. Be sure that expressions of gratitude remain prevalent as you embark on what will be a more rewarding journey and allow the success to follow…..