THE answer to this question may be the most important in your career. Not just for your job, but to advance your life and yourself. Think about the people you admire. They’re probably people you like to (or, would like to) hang around. If you admire some sports celebrity, or some screen star, it’s because of their talent. It’s because they’re ‘best’ at what they do. They’ve become attractive because of their talent – and so can you. Behind all people who have great talent is an ethic of hard work, dedication, and practice. Once they achieve their status, their success follows – and so can yours. As you attempt to advance your career, the key element is how good you are at what you do. If you want to get to the top of the ladder, then develop the top talent you need to move up each step. A ladder is the analogy most often used because becoming best is a step-by-step process. (Otherwise they would have used an elevator as the analogy.) Early in my career, a mentor taught me about experts. He said there were three kinds of experts: an expert, a world-class expert, and the world-class expert. That was February 1994. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to become ‘the best’, the world-class expert, at what I do. What’s your mission? If you’re in sales, how you become recognised by others will determine not only how they treat you, but also how they’re willing to interact with you, build relationships with you, buy from you, be loyal to you, refer others to you, and give testimonials for you. If your customers do not consider you ‘best’, then they will try their best to lower your price, or simply buy from someone else. And it’s no different in any other job function. Your level of perceived expertise will determine how others interact with you and how others treat you. I have become the best at what I do by reading, thinking, observing, speaking, and writing. So can you. Most people are focused on doing their job, getting in the good books with their boss, making their monthly quotas, increasing annual revenues, completing a project, getting a raise, maybe making the presidents club. All of those are OK goals. But none of them has the word ‘best’ at its core. Are you the best in your company at what you do? If you’re not, how come? Or an even harder question, what are you doing about it? And by the way, best doesn’t only apply to your job or your profession. Best also applies to your role as friend, dad or mum, husband or wife. If you’re doing your best, eventually you’ll become best. You may not see your own growth because you’re too close to it. But take a moment and look back over the last few years. Have you grown? Have you gotten better? The answer is probably yes. But the real question is, to what degree? Could you have done more? Did you only do what you had to do to get by? Here’s an easier way to ask that question: “Which did you spend more time at: reading, or watching television?” I doubt that you’ll ever win an award as ‘best television watcher in town’ (even though you may be qualified).The only reason best is elusive is that at its core is hard work. And as you read this, if you’re doing the dance of justification, (telling yourself how great you are, or “could have been better if it wasn’t for…”) you’re only denying yourself the opportunity to move from satisfaction, to success, to fulfillment. The satisfied ones always make it by. The good ones are always successful. The best are always fulfilled. If you’re looking for the best job, the easiest way to get it is by being the best person. At the core of being best is your philosophy. You probably don’t have one – but if you’d like to see a copy of mine, go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time user and type the word PHILOSOPHY in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer is author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. He is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org © 2005 All Rights Reserved
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