As I wrote last week, success is all about PIE … Performance, Image, and Exposure. And as I tell all my clients, “Performance is the foundation for success.”
But PERFORMANCE, in and of itself, is seldom enough to guarantee success. We all know good, productive, hard-working people who never seem to go very far in their jobs, their careers, or their businesses. That’s because they lack the right IMAGE or don’t get enough EXPOSURE … or both.
Once your PERFORMANCE is indisputably excellent, you’ve got to project the right IMAGE to take the next step up the ladder of success. Other people have got to see you in the right light … or it will impede, if not kill off, your success.
So IMAGE isn’t something fluffy and irrelevant. “It’s a very very important piece of the PIE,” declares Maria Urani, the Vice President of Nationwide Insurance.
To improve your IMAGE, take a few hints from my program on UP Your Attitude!
=> 1. Know what others say about you.
You can’t live in the dark or the land of make-believe if you want to ensure your success in life and work. You’ve got to know what others think and say about you. And if you don’t know, ASK, ASK, ASK.
Anderson and Kudrle, the founders of The Diamond Performance Group, proved that. In a study called the Factors Critical to Customer Commitment, they discovered that a startling 77% of the factors that determined customer loyalty had to do with IMAGE. Only 23% of the factors had anything to do with “product performance” or “service department excellence.”
In other words when your customers have a good IMAGE of you … a good IMAGE of you the person and you the provider … they tend to become loyal committed customers.
The lesson? You’ve got to know what others say about you. And if you don’t like what you hear, get busy changing your IMAGE.
=> 2. Be a role model that earns the respect of others.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. In fact, I’m not even sure that most people even know what a role model is anymore. After all, the news is constantly giving us another story of another “supposed” role model in sports, entertainment, politics, business, or religion who is behaving despicably.
Being a role model might sound like common sense, but let me assure you it is not common practice. That’s why most people need to be TAUGHT how to be a role model. It’s something I drive home when I speak about 4C Leadership: Communication, Cooperation, Change, and Commitment.
To be a role model that others respect, a good starting point might be The ABC’s of Success written by Chaplain (Col.) Charles W. Edwards, Jr. They’re right on target. In fact, you might want to print them out, put them on your wall, read them every day, do what they suggest, and you’ll be a great role model to others.
THE ABC’S OF SUCCESS
Arrive a little early for every date or appointment.
Be enthusiastic in everything you do.
Complete every assigned task.
Do a little bit more than is required.
Express yourself after you know the facts.
Feel comfortable in every situation by acting yourself.
Go all out to please your friends.
Help your enemies.
Identify yourself by accomplishment rather than words.
Join in and help when you are needed.
Keep your head; it may save your hide.
Listen with your ears, not your mouth.
Make do with what you have.
Never say never.
Open your heart to those less fortunate than you.
Please yourself by pleasing others.
Quickly respond to an emergency.
Remember the spirit of Christmas especially in August.
Study, study, study to excel.
Take advantage of opportunity.
Use spare time intelligently.
Value your health.
Work at your work.
X-out any qualities that could lead to failure.
You (and your Higher Power) are your most important assets.
Zestfully meet any challenge.
Apply a few more of these bits of advice and you will immediately improve your IMAGE, an IMAGE that will almost certainly motivate the best in others as well.
=> 3. Hang out with champions.
You know, Mom was right. Who you hang around with makes a huge impact on every part of your life, your future, your success, and yes … your IMAGE.
As business philosopher Jim Rohn put it, “You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question, Is that okay?”
Whoa!!! That’s huge. If you hang around gripers and groaners, you’ll end up doing a lot of griping and groaning. If you hang around losers, you’ll end up losing, more often than not.
Choose your friends and associates carefully. Choose to spend your work time, your free time, all your time with as many champion-like people as possible. After all, every person in your life will either pull you up or drag you down.
And you guessed it. Spending more time with champions will definitely improve your IMAGE. It will even improve your decisions … which goes back to last week’s Tuesday Tip; it will improve your PERFORMANCE. As business owner Mike McKinley says, “Arrogance is believing that you’re making the right decision every time. Confidence is making good decisions with the guidance of others.”
=> 4. Be your own PR agent.
In today’s crazy busy world, you can perform wondrous tasks … many of which deserve some honor … but never have them recognized. People just get too plain busy to even notice, let alone comment, on the great things others do.
So, your fine contributions … your above-and-beyond performance … may never come to light when it comes to winning new business or even getting a promotion. You don’t have the IMAGE you need to get ahead.
That means you’ve got to make sure others know your role in the organization (or even your family), the differences you’ve made, and what you have to offer in the future. If you don’t toot your own horn once in a while, in a very tactful, tasteful, and appropriate way, you’re bound to have a poorer IMAGE than you deserve.
You know the old saying about the squeaky wheel gets the grease. It’s truer today than ever before.