Growing up, did you hear the adage, “You’ve got work hard to get ahead?” Today, we know hard work is important; and we know it isn’t enough to create and sustain success. In fact, hard work can trap you, causing you to keep your nose so close to the grindstone you can’t see the big picture. Hard work can cause you to be seen as an indispensible worker, but it can limit opportunities to the role you’re in. Why? Because hard work alone can cause to you look as if you lack strategic sight and the ability to discern which activities are most important to growth – yours and that of your business. You don’t appear discriminating and smart, just busy and mired in the details.
If you’re snared by the controlling habit of hard work, stop, pull your head up, take a breath, look around and ask yourself:
- What are the current trends in the industry? In our company?
- Where is the energy in the organization? What topics and issues are others paying attention to, talking about and working on?
- Which activities and accomplishments are being rewarded?
Work smarter. Align with the energy bubbling up in your company.