How Everyone Can Be Extraordinary at Work

When I first started out in the workforce, I was frustrated with poorly performing co-workers.  I somehow imagined that if they did poorly at the job they were in, that they would do poorly in every job they took on.  As I got older, I began to understand the pressures that combine to make an unsuccessful employee: toxic work cultures, unclear job definition and unsupportive managers. Also crucial: the fundamental fit between the person and the job.

Tom Bergerson, host of Dancing with the Stars, illustrated this well in his autobiography “I’m Hosting as Fast as I Can!”  He spoke about an early job he took with a Boston company:

“They made flexible tubing. And, for three whole months, I was one of their customer-service representatives. However, as it turned out, I was to customer service what the Hindenburg was to air travel.

The company no longer exists.  I blame myself.

It wasn’t intentional. It’s not like I didn’t try. I liked these people.  I was grateful to be working again and paying down my debts.  I was just really, really bad at it.  I had the engaging-phone-skills pat down pat.  If you were looking for flexible tubing and I answered your call, my tone suggesting bedrock dependability.  That is, until I lost your paperwork.”

Bergeron went on to find immense success hosting Hollywood Squares, America’s Funniest Home Videos and Dancing with the Stars.  He’s an outstanding emcee: witty, in-the-moment and demonstrates genuine care and concern for his guests.  He also doesn’t have any paperwork in this job.  His whole job is done when the camera turns off.  It is the perfect role for him.

Finding the perfect role means understanding yourself: what you love to do, what you’re good at and also how others perceive you. Once you’re able to articulate it, people are able to make concrete suggestions and connections for you. It’s a journey—the right spot for you at age 30 is not going to be the right spot for you at 40. Embrace the changing needs and goals in your life!

I believe that everyone can be extraordinary at work.  But they have to be in the right role, with the right leaders and in the right company for them.

This article was first published at www.extraordinaryatwork.com

 

Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
Olivia Shen Green

Olivia Shen Green is an Operations Manager in Engineering Talent and Culture at Fortune 100 organization. Her passion for leading fast-paced, inclusive change has been employed leading acquisition integration internationally and releasing NPI programs in the core and edge routing space. Her blog is Extraordinary at Work. Olivia often tweets about technology, design and finding happiness in everyday things. Follow her on Twitter at @osgOlivia.

Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a ...

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

25 Songs For Your Leadership Playlist

What are your all-time favorite leadership songs — the ones that make you ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a question I ask in a survey ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

Be Leaderly Wins Gold & Silver at the 2019 Stevie Awards
Be Leaderly Wins Gold & Silver at the 2019 Stevie Awards

Be Leaderly, a globally recognized provider of women’s leadership development and inclusion solutions, was recognized

15 Questions to Ask Before Taking a Stretch Assignment
15 Questions to Ask Before Taking a Stretch Assignment

Stretch assignments are like the Instant Pot of career development. An intensely challenging, ambitious, go-big-or-go-home

How Can Pay Transparency Make a Difference for Women?
How Can Pay Transparency Make a Difference for Women?

It’s well known that women still deal with a pay gap relative to men. But

5 Things to Know About Your Coworkers with Kids
5 Things to Know About Your Coworkers with Kids

You might’ve attended a baby shower in the break room, or maybe you caught a

4 Underrated Elements of a Career Advancement Plan
4 Underrated Elements of a Career Advancement Plan

A vice president of a financial company once told me, “Make a plan—or someone else

Negotiate Through Your Next Performance Review
Negotiate Through Your Next Performance Review

With performance reviews around the corner, I wanted to write a how-to post on negotiating.

Why Companies Should Give Women More Stretch Assignments
Why Companies Should Give Women More Stretch Assignments

Landing a coveted stretch assignment is a proven shortcut to a top role. Does your

5 Ways to Shine as a High-Potential
5 Ways to Shine as a High-Potential

There’s never been a better time to develop your leadership skills. According to Deloitte’s 2014

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

On a regular old day, you’re plugging along, attending to the work tasks in front

You Wouldn’t Stay in a Thankless Job. So Why Accept a Thankless Stretch Assignment?    
You Wouldn’t Stay in a Thankless Job. So Why Accept a Thankless Stretch Assignment?   

Four Rules for Accepting a Stretch Assignment Want to connect to a bigger, bolder vision

Ask Jo: How can I thank my mentor?

Question: I have an incredible mentor. She ...

Teamwork is a Skill. It Takes Practice!

Everyone wants to lead, or be a ...

It’s Worth the Risk (I promise)

This is Sarah. She’s one of my ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a ...

Leaderly Quote: Great Leaders Know When to Step Aside

“Great leaders know when to step aside.” ...

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Copyright 2019, Be Leaderly