Peak performers are individuals with confidence—They have a well-established belief that they can accomplish what they set out to do. They KNOW that they can and will achieve their goal.
These are people who have pushed the envelope and been subjected to tests far beyond what they previously thought they could do. Challenging fears is the fuel that builds confidence, and the resulting energy is what propels people forward to dream and achieve new dreams.
Q: What have you done lately that challenged you beyond what you thought you were capable of doing?
Q: With your confidence, what new frontier are you called to tackle?
If you were to do a culture check in your organization, which of the two taglines would best describe your work environment? Are your team members “Students for Life” or do you think they’re feeling “We’ve Arrived!” Back to school time is actually a great season to ask yourself this simple question and take stock.
We wouldn’t want you to think the whole topic of culture sounds like we’re about to dive off into the wonderful world of soft, fuzzy feelings as opposed to nice, solid facts. But, before you decide to zone out, take note: a great deal of current research tells us that having the right culture is an important key to improving individual and organizational performance. In fact, it is likely the most important factor of all!
Consider the culture in the organization we just visited. The building was filled with nice, highly educated individuals (think advanced degrees) with lots of confidence. In fact, the confidence was a bit overwhelming. These were folks who seem to have a mindset of “We’ve got it…been there and done that, and can tell you the best way to approach any project you throw at me. Just bring it on!” And in many ways, the confidence serves the organization well. Yet, individually, many seem to feel that improvement only applies to the other people. These team members clearly think they already have all of the knowledge and skills they need, and any feedback or coaching pertains to anyone but them. This is clearly not a learning organization.
Just down the street on the other side, we visited a company with a totally different point of view.
In a brief meeting we observed, here are some comments we overheard in the conversation:
- “That’s a great idea. I never thought of it that way before.”
- “What do you think? I could use another perspective.”
- “Let’s check with the Tech Team…they will have all of the latest information on that aspect of the project”
The second company clearly had a culture that reflected a mindset of “Students for Life”. How great to hear that the individuals were open to feedback and welcoming of ideas that weren’t their own!
How would your “Culture Check” work out? Is your organization a learning one, or are your team members “Know -it -All’s”? It’s good food for thought.