Welcome to another Ask Katrina. This question today is:

“Katrina, I am doing a ton of work at work but the feedback that I’m getting is that I’m not properly performing. What am I doing wrong?”

The simple answer is this, your perception of what actions generate performance results vs. the reality of what the company is looking for are different.

Your efforts aren’t generating results so you must change your efforts.

The problem isn’t the outside world, the problem isn’t that people aren’t appreciating what you’re providing. The problem is unfortunately, you.

Now I hate to say that so please stick with me. I’m not bashing you or telling you that you’re horrible. I’m calling out the truth so you can pivot and start performing!

The reality is that we get so busy being busy, we get so busy doing things to show that we’re busy, that we forget that the purpose of showing up and being that executive leader is to add value.

Busy Doesn’t Equal Performance

As leaders, we exist to add value to the company.

And we do that by performing specific tasks, taking very specific actions, leading teams, providing information using our gifts, all of those things, and more; those are ways in which we can add value.

But at the end of the day, what we tend to confuse, again, is that busyness doesn’t equal performance.

Adding value equals actual performance in the eyes of the organization.

Who defines performance? The organization. And how do they define performance? When something of value is added to the organization.

So now when you hear someone saying, “You’re not performing,” translate that into, “You’re not adding value.

Just because you’re showing up early, working late, taking on projects, doing all the extras, and staying busy, doesn’t mean that you’re performing, it doesn’t mean that you’re adding value.

So what must you do?

First, have the realization we just walked through. Ask yourself:

“Okay, I’m busy. But am I busy doing the right things? Or am I busy doing the things that I think are important?”

The organization expects you to step in line and move with it and add value. And if you don’t, you’re going to get feedback that says you’re not performing because you’re not adding value.

For you to raise your hand and say, “But I’m busy,” is going to get you a bit of tough love.

What a lot of leaders miss, is that we equate busyness with performance, we equate sacrifice with performance. But we can sacrifice and be busy all day, it doesn’t mean that we get to keep our jobs, it doesn’t mean that we’re going to get a raise, and it doesn’t mean that we’re going to get promoted.

The people that lose their positions and are eliminated from the organization, tend to look at the organization and say, “I gave you everything. Why did you let me go?” And the answer is clear, they didn’t add value.

So a lot of people get disgruntled and they want to point the finger at the organization.

Okay, maybe you don’t have a supervisor that’s making your job easy or clear. But that still falls on your shoulders to not ask, “Am I doing the right thing?”

You must raise your hand and say, “Hey, what does the company need me to do right now?”

When you figure out how the company defines value, and you start doing that, then you’re performing. Then you have an executive brand that adds value!

A lot of times what I see throughout someone’s career is that through climbing and promoting, people knew very clearly how to perform because it was set in stone.

Where a lot of leaders struggle is when they step into the executive ranks, and they’re having to be thoughtful and strategic and lead through others and influence through words instead of actions. This is where performance falters.

Then we fall back on the “doing” work instead of leaning forward and stepping into the strategic, leading through-people portion of our careers.

And so what I would say is to the person that asked the question, I want you to think about it and ask yourself, are you doing things that add value, or the bulk of your actions, adding value as defined by the organization?

If yes, then you must have a clarifying conversation with your supervisor. You must seek to understand because you’re missing something.

Eliminate the gray. Go have the conversation and make your situation black and white.

If you aren’t doing the things that are adding daily value, then change your behavior. instead of being busy, be intentional about adding value. That’s how you move forward.

If you are ready to eliminate the gray, eliminate the guesswork, and know exactly what you must do to add value and perform (or exec correctly), it’s time you schedule a call with the Legend Leaders team! We will let you know exactly how to do all of those things and more so your performance locks in your bonus and more. Click here to schedule your call now!