Evolve Your Best, Then Deliver It

iStock_000017179966XSmallHow do you “show up” at work every day? How do you “show up” with family, friends, or neighbors?

If you do your best, serving others in every interaction, that’s awesome.

For most of us, we don’t have enough energy or time to hit home runs with every swing! We have many responsibilities. Some projects and tasks get our best. Others get the minimum required to keep them from crashing and burning.

We must choose what goals, tasks, and activities we invest our best in. We “make do” on more of our goals, tasks, and activities than those we “kick butt” on.

Yet, when we do less than our best, we erode relationships, accomplishment . . . and our own well-being.

In our book, #Positivity At Work, Lisa Zigarmi and I outline the five pillars of personal well-being.

Doing your best has wonderful impact on three of those pillars: positive emotions, positive relationships, and positive accomplishment. Doing your best can boost your well-being, every day. (You can get a free excerpt from the book here.)

Redefine “Your Best” Regularly

My experience and research shows that the most valued team members, family members, and community members are present, carry their weight, and refine their contributions over time.

Have you ever experienced doing your best – yet found that someone else was doing it faster with better results than you? If we pay attention, we can see that happening around us.

To boost your contribution and value, you need to evolve your best. You need to experiment with new approaches and technologies that might improve speed and lower costs without reducing quality.

Evolving your best might simply require you to engage, to listen, to learn . . . and to refine your behaviors to serve better.

A recent example brought my own “good enough” behaviors to light.

We have a new neighbor in our small mountain community. Jay bought the home of an elderly couple near us early this year.

To be honest, I was glad to see that couple go. Their three dogs were barkers, disturbing neighbors all up our valley, late into the evenings. Attempts to resolve the problem with the couple went nowhere.

Jay moved in and began cleaning up the property immediately. He added landscaping and painted the exterior. The house looked great!

Jay was open and friendly with everyone, waving at cars going by, conversing with hikers and bicyclists that moved past his home. We found Jay a delightful, positive addition to the neighborhood.

A few weeks ago, Jay organized and hosted his own house-warming party! 20 people from the neighborhood showed up, half of whom my wife and I had never met face-to-face. Jay was a fabulous host, BBQ-ing, introducing people, and engaging with everyone. It was a terrific evening – and long overdue.

It took Jay – the new guy – to break us neighbors out of our “good enough” approach. My wife and I now know nearly all of our neighbors. With “adventuresome mountain living,” knowing people close by can make power outages, snowstorms, closed roads, and wildfire evacuations a bit less stressful.

We can choose to be better neighbors.

My best “neighbor” behaviors are evolving. We’re hosting the next get-together with a Labor Day BBQ.

How do you refine your best and deliver it? How do you decide where to allocate your best with so much on your plate? Contribute your thoughts about this post/podcast in the comments section below.

What is it like to live in your organization’s culture? Share your experiences in my fast & free Performance-Values Assessment. Results and analysis are described on my blog’s research page.

This research can help you refine your organization’s corporate culture. Contact me to discuss conducting the Performance-Values Assessment in your company.

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  • How do you refine your best and deliver it? How do you decide where to allocate your best with so much on your plate? I’d love your thoughts.

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  • Mark Deterding

    Great post Chris. Focusing on “Your” Best as opposed to “The” Best is always important. Focusing on “The” Best will usually lead to either envy or pride, neither of which is real desirable. If you focus on “Your” Best you can drive constant improvement in every aspect of your life. I love your analogy of being your best as a neighbor. It is so applicable to all of us. As always thanks for your great insights on these important topics of leadership!

    • Thanks, Mark! I appreciate your insights. That’s a subtle but vital difference you point out (“your” best vs. “the” best) – Brilliant!



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