A New Business Model for Success?
by Donna Mitchell
If you’re looking for sound advice on how to become a standout performer in your workplace, where do you turn? A reality television show such as America’s Top Model wouldn’t be high on your list of resources, would it? But does it offer some sage advice?
Recently, I came across a column in the New York Post by Jillian Kay Melchior that says there is something we can all learn from the success and failures of the hundreds of young women who are hungry to become the next big mannequin in the fashion industry.
Natural talent isn’t enough. Hard work and knowledge matter.
Often, the model contestants are pop-quizzed about their industry and too often reveal their lack of knowledge and depth about the course they’re pursuing. They assumed their natural beauty and poise were enough to take them to the top. They were wrong and sent home. Let me ask you. Have you done your homework? Do you constantly keep updated and educated about your industry? Or are you a basic 9-to-5’er who often rests on his or her laurels?
Speak up for yourself…but do it at the appropriate time.
The key here is “at the appropriate time”. The judges on the Top Model panel appreciated the candidates who raised concerns or asked questions during their photo shoots rather the ones who offered after-the-fact excuses of why they didn’t do well. Like those judges, bosses appreciate employees who ask good questions and work hard to ensure tasks get done properly the first time… but they have little or no tolerance for the after-the-fact excuses that hold little value.
Consistent moral decisions garner respect but inconsistent standards can hurt you.
Which way is your moral compass pointing? Do you stand up for what you believe in or do you relax your standards because of peer pressure or other outside influences? Even if people don’t agree with your moral compass, they will often respect you for having a strong direction. But if you become inconsistent, you can cause confusion in the workplace and lose the respect of your peers and your bosses.
Regardless of your circumstances, the responsibility for your success or failure rests with you .
Many of the model candidates on the reality show come from tragic backgrounds ranging from poverty to abuse. But the show’s host never permits them to use their past struggles as an excuse for poor performance. She encourages them to stand up and take control of their destiny. “Be a victim no longer,” she says, “take responsibility for yourself”. On a personal note: I learned that lesson well when years ago I remained in an unhappy job situation. I sat and grumbled and complained about what “life” had handed me. What I had settled for instead of reaching for more success. My disgruntled attitude was only making the situation worse. One day, I smartened up and went out and found a new job… a better job in a good environment for achievement and major financial benefits! Once I started looking to the future instead of focusing on an unpleasant present, I was able to break free and create a new destiny for myself. Here’s hoping you do the same.