Inconsistency is the norm. The extraordinary is the ordinary consistently applied.
I attribute all the success that I have had in my career comes down to one point. My successes came about because I tried harder for longer at some simple thing.
- I became a CEO because I tested myself with the little acts of change leadership every day for over a decade that built my skills and understanding of how to influence, to set a strategy and to lead a business
- was invited to join Change Agents Worldwide because of my change advocacy and the thought leadership on this blog and I had been working on change every day for years and building my thoughts and writing daily for more than 4 years
- my current consulting work in change leadership, collaboration and customer experience is not the outcome of any single insight. It is the consequence of learning more every day.
Whatever talents I might have were much less significant to my success than the willingness to put in the daily effort over a time span of years. After all, there are a mighty lot of talented people out there. It is far easier to outstay them than out perform them. If you put in the effort, you will discover, many extraordinarily talented people never start or give up at the first, second or tenth setback.
My actions aren’t extraordinary. I am a generalist, not a specialist. It is rare when I have the capabilities to make a unique difference. In our complex networked collaborative world, it is increasingly rare someone delivers on their unique capabilities alone. The generalist knows to leverage a network and is more likely to attend to all the disciplines needed for success.
When others are trying to achieve the extraordinary, often it is the small steps of change that are over looked. Consistently attending to these small efforts is much more likely to deliver the results.
I have also discovered that luck is the outcome of effort, opportunity and preparation. Luck rewards those prepared and still trying. Working and learning consistently means when a new opportunity arises you have a better chance of success.
Just as talent rises from a community, extraordinary performance rises from consistency of effort. If you read biographies and history the theme recurs; Overnight success is an outcome of years of effort.
So don’t despair at the lack of an obvious way to be extraordinary. Remember inconsistency is the norm. Your path to the extraordinary is the ordinary consistently applied.