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    Mr. Jerome Prescod - NCB

How To Be M.V.P. If You Don't Play Sports

For someone who has never willingly participated in any sports, I am constantly in awe of professional athletes. Their determination, focus, vision, planning and preparation are of constant inspiration to me.

I surprisingly found myself following the documentary of Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. before their highly televised match on May 5th 2007. I had never before watched a boxing match and knew little of the boxers themselves. The unwavering focus of Mayweather in particular was astounding – constant training at all hours of the day, no distractions that would negatively impact on training, and a support team to help him eat, sleep and breathe boxing. While it may have appeared extreme, these conditions were self-imposed and self-rewarded.

So how can you match Mayweather’s sense of purpose and become MVP at your work place?

Know the rules of the game – what’s it about? What are the rules? What is your role? Are you prepared? What are the stakes?

This sounds pretty basic, but you are completing all of your tasks and responsibilities always correctly and always on time? If you are experiencing difficulty to surpass this stage, immediate action must be taken with you and your superior. At this stage, hurdles to your performance may be unclear job description or insufficient resources to complete your tasks. (refer to my previous article on Self-Motivation and go through the checklist provided!)

Go the Extra Mile – that’s the extra 10 push-ups, laps or minutes of training that the MVP gives to boost his or her game.

Use the below checklist either on a weekly or monthly basis to keep track of your performance development.

Read industry magazines

All professions today have industry magazines. Do you review yours?
Get to know these publications – browse the bookstores or your company’s library. Research as well on the internet – many websites offer free newsletters that emailed to you directly.
Suggested action: read one article per week.

Industry conferences and expos

Immerse yourself in the world of your industry (and others) via conferences and expos.
There is a wealth of information at these events and many of them offer workshops and programs at the same time. Suggested action: once annually

Get to know your company

If you work at an oil company, there’s more to it than just pumping for oil!
Visit the company website regularly, literature, publications, attend all company activities, training sessions and orientations. Suggested action: read one piece of information per week.

Learn all about your job at your work place

Know your job description and refer to it to ensure that you know all the required tasks.
If there are tasks not listed but expected, make a note of them.
Suggested action: daily

Build your own team

If there you have colleagues who are star performers, make a note of what they do and ask for their guidance. Floyd Mayweather even had one of his team-mates takes of his t-shirt at a doctor’s visit – now that’s team spirit!

Learn all about your job by industry standards

What are the industry standards in first world countries?
Whether or not these are recognized or practiced at your work place, be aware of what professionals around the world are doing to keep ahead in their jobs.
Suggested action: once per month

Offer to cross learn

Volunteer to help out in other departments that directly interact with your own to get to know their processes better and how they work in relation to yours.
Suggested action: At your Performance Review, let your superior know that you would be interested in growing horizontally.

Offer to mentor/train new employees

Volunteer to orient new employees in your department. This can be done via a formal mentoring or coaching program or they can simply shadow you on a daily basis.
Suggested action: At your Performance Review, let your superior know that you would be interested in growing horizontally.

Learn a new job related word every day

This is the easiest way to keep mentally focused.
Learn any word that can improve your communication skills at work.
Suggested action: once daily

Organization – if it’s not visible, it’s not real.

This is another ‘trick’ to keep yourself mentally focused.
Your work area should always be efficiently ready to produce and receive work.
Suggested action: once daily

You may have noticed that nowhere here do networking or organizational culture or hierarchy appear. These components of professional life are very real yet completely out of your control and as such they need only to be understood.

At every stage in your career the main focus should always be on activities and resources that are mission critical.

You may have also noticed the analogy of team members to players and work to a game. While this is not meant to minimize the importance of our professional lives, at the end of the day we should always keep things in perspective.

No matter how energizing and fulfilling our work - it’s what we do, it’s not who we are.

Ms. Leah De Souza is the Managing Director of Trainmar.

Trainmar provides training and development solutions that are strategically aligned and people focused. Visit www.trainmar-caribbean.org for further details.

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