In my previous two posts on being a TOP (The On-Purpose) Performer I talked about the difference between having a Think Inc! / ME Inc! Mindset (Thinking Incorporated) and a Stink Inc!/ ME Stink! (Stinking Thinking) mindset.
TOP Performers have a Think Inc! mindset and are also motivated by the satisfaction that comes from being “On-Purpose” – they understand how they fulfil the needs of others and they find meaning in what they do. They take their job to the next level by thinking like the owner of an organisation.
The mindset position you take will make a crucial impact on your performance and productivity whether you are a business owner, manager, team leader or team member. It has a profound impact on your career and job fulfilment and satisfaction.
In the diagram below, Kevin W McCarthy shows four main types of people in businesses and organisations in terms of their performance. As you can see here, TOP Performers have high levels of technical expertise and motivation. They have “High Technical” as well as “High Tingle”.
Which quadrant are you in?
This is a crucial question to ask yourself if you want to excel in your position, business or career.
Where Mojo and Mastery Meet
In my model below, I explore how “Technical” and “Tingle” powerfully impact your performance, contribution and sense of Purpose. This is captured through the words Mastery and Mojo.
If Mastery has an impact on Mojo, what are the psychological and behavioural implications of this in your workplace and career?
I like developing models and after a bit of ‘doodling’, I came up with the following. For want of a better name I have called it the M2 Energy model.
Quadrant 1 – Mastery:
I see so many people in this quadrant. They usually are highly experienced, have high skill level but have lost their mojo. Many are tired, they are often bored and lack self-motivation. Their energy is gone. They are no longer engaged in their work or business.
Maybe you have been in the one position or business for too long, or you are managing people like this.
If you are (or you have staff) in this quadrant there are serious implications for management, careers and job satisfaction. The cost to you, your team and the organisation is high.
I strongly recommend you consider the following to help move you to Quadrant 4 – High Mastery and High Mojo. Your behaviour is governed by your thinking so it’s imperative to change your thinking patterns.
- Start noticing your thoughts and behaviours. This is the first step to changing your thinking and in-turn your behaviour. Are you spending too much time “below the line?”
- Ask yourself the questions – “what do I want to do with my life?” “What do I want my life to stand for?”
- Invest time into being mindful. Become focussed on self-observation rather than self-absorption!
- Reignite your vision and write some SMART goals for your career or business.
- Get a coach or mentor to help you set and keep goals. You coach will also help you form new habits and break unwanted ones. There is a wise old saying “We are what we repeatedly do”. There is another old proverb which goes something like this… “As a person thinks in his/her heart so he/she will become”.
Over long periods, our patterns of thinking become etched into the billions of neurons in our brains, connecting them in unique entrenched patterns. The first step to changing your thinking is to observe your thinking. TOP Performers practice mindfulness.
So start noticing those thoughts and see just how they are serving you and others. It may come as quite a shock to you.
You may not realise it but your lack of Mojo, despite your high level of competence, has a draining and detrimental effect on others in your work-place. It’s impossible to plateau for long. You are either “green and growing” or “brown and dying”.
Quadrant 2 – Meaninglessness:
Where there is low mastery and low mojo there is a serious problem.
I was in this quadrant once, not because I was useless but because it was the wrong job fit for me. It was the most off-purpose time of my working life. I was trapped, hugely troubled, very stressed and wondered if I could ever survive the trauma.
(I did by gaining a position in my preferred career and with an employer of choice and location of choice). How that happened is another very interesting story!
If you are in this position (or you have staff in this quadrant), the personal and professional cost is enormous. Up-skilling, retraining, moving into a role that aligns with your Purpose and skill set or just being made redundant are some options. There is no room for complacency here. Massive and immediate action is required. Applying the action steps outlined in Quadrant 1 will also assist you.
Take action! Become “refired” or be “fired”.
Quadrant 3 – Mojo:
You are such a great prospect when you have the right attitude, are self-motivated, enthusiastic and have high “tingle” or high mojo. For many recruiters and employers, this factor is often the one first sought. It’s easier to teach mastery than to instil mojo.
Many people start their career or businesses from this quadrant. They are full of excitement, passion and are quick to learn. Despite the high mojo, there is tentativeness here. New skills need to be developed. Knowledge has to be gained.
If you are a small business owner or in a new career position, a mentor or coach is vital.
If you are a manager and have people in this quadrant, don’t be fooled by their enthusiasm and natural desire to excel. They may be stressed because they lack the technical expertise to do the work. They need coaching and training and careful management through this start-up period. A learning and development plan for continuous improvement is essential.
Quadrant 4 – Mastery and Mojo:
When mastery and mojo meet we are engaged in meaningful work and are at the TOP of our game. Our mindset and behaviour are in alignment. We are On-Purpose! We are a TOP Performer! We’re in the flow. And as one of my clients put it – “we are wide eyed and electrified!”
We also just love what we are doing and are great at it. We have a high sense of contribution and invest a lot of time and energy into our work. We are passionate!
If you are in this quadrant then that is fantastic. But be warned! You are a prime candidate for burnout.
More than anyone else, you need to work on your life and career plan and ensure your business or career fits this. Work-life integration is essential.
If you are managing people who are in this quadrant, your responsibility is huge. So many top performers leave their organisation because of burn out or being taken for granted.
Managers often ignore this group because they are doing the job so well – everything is ‘rosy’! While they are highly engaged, they still need ‘a sense of belonging’ and want to be told they are valued and appreciated. Ongoing training, extension, new challenges and goals are very important to this group. Like all highly effective people, they need a coach to extend them, hold them accountable, be a sounding board and be their ‘cheer leader’.
Take time to look at this model and to review where you (and your individual team members) are at. It will have profound implications for your energy levels, your job satisfaction and your general well-being. If you are managing staff or teams, this will also be an important diagnostic, evaluative and generative model for you to improve the purpose, productivity and performance of your people. Take action today as you choose to become and stay a TOP Performer.
© Dr Edward Gifford
CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer)