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Be Selfish to be Selfless: A Guide To High-Performance

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A Guide To High-Performance

How do you really become a Difference Maker in your team or organization? How do you really contribute to the “wins” and become a valued member of the group?

Conventional wisdom tells you to, “Put others first and sacrifice everything for the team.” But even when you’ve tried this, it’s left you feeling unconfident, burned out, and stuck. As a result, your performance starts to suffer and you don’t progress, or contribute to the team, how you’d like. Enough’s enough - there is a way to become a Difference Maker, and it’s not by sacrificing your own mental health in hopes that the team recognizes your impact.

We see countless high performers like yourself getting frustrated because they’ve tried the approach of giving everything that they possibly have to their team, but still they don’t have the impact that they want.

Here’s the truth: there’s a better way to impact your team and it starts with you getting selfish so that you can be selfless.

And as confusing as this may sound, we’ve created a simple 3-step formula for you to do this so that you can stop getting frustrated, start feeling confident, and become a Difference Maker on your team by impacting them at levels few others have before.

It’s time to change your mindset so that you can get selfish to be selfless.

What Does It Mean To Be Selfish To Be Selfless?

It’s very simple: if you want to be able to impact others, then you have to possess skills that offer them value. For example, if you’re an athlete then this means building out specific aspects of your game so that you can be more impactful in your position. If you’re a business professional then it means becoming more skilled in your profession so that you can tackle higher level problems.

In short, it’s becoming better at your job so that you can be more impactful in your organization. Aka - you must get selfish to work on yourself first so that you can get selfless and give value to others.

Where most high performers get this wrong is that they don’t intentionally schedule time to work on themselves and, as a result, end up only giving half of their potential value to their team.

As a result of this, high performers start to underperform, lose confidence, compare themselves to others and eventually burn out. And if there’s one thing that high-performing teams, or organizations, look for it’s refreshed, excited, and confident individuals who know they can get the required job done well.

So, to avoid this, you must shift your mindset to understand that the only true way to positively impact your team, or organization, and to be a Difference Maker for them is to put working on yourself first so that you have value to offer them.

What This Doesn’t Mean

We are in no way condoning that you only think of yourself and lack consideration for others. Instead what we’re saying is to reverse engineer the process, or to consider the end result of impact that you want to have on others first, get to work, and focus, on yourself second, and then give to others third.

We are not saying to become someone who’s only concerned with their own personal gain or pleasure - that’s just being plain old selfish. If you start with the understanding of the end goal in mind, or how to best impact others, then the rest will take care of itself.

So, here are the 4 “musts” of how to get selfish to be selfless

Must 1: Understand the impact you want to have on your team.

Getting selfish to be selfless starts with knowing how you want to impact your team. Start with understanding the job they need you to do, then the skills that go into performing this job well.

Simply answer these 2 questions to discover this:

  1. What job does my team need me to perform for them?

  2. What skills go into performing this job well?

Must 2: Create emotional meaning behind helping your team so you get excited.

The next step is to understand why you want to help your team; it’s understanding how contributing to the team will make you feel fulfilled. The only true way to discover this is by understanding the way that helping the team will make you feel.

Emotional meaning goes beyond material wins, like helping the team score more goals, or helping the company make more money, and instead realizing what those means will allow you to feel.

For example: “helping the team score more goals is what truly makes me feel accomplished.” Or, “helping the company sell more of product XYZ really let’s me feel like I’m helping the customer because this is a life-changing product.”

Simply answer these questions to discover your emotional meaning behind each decision:

  1. Helping the team will make me feel…

  2. Helping the team will allow me to avoid feeling…

Must 3: Get certain of your skills and schedule time to work on them.

Next, you need to take the time to actually work on yourself.

Build certainty behind your actions through visualizing yourself executing the skills listed previously with excellence, and schedule time to work on these skills daily. You can find a guide on how to do both of these here.

For athletes, we suggest visualizing three times per week and practicing each skill you’re visualizing in different scenarios for 20 minutes each day on top of your team training.

For business professionals, we suggest visualizing three times per week and studying, or practicing, your skills anywhere between 30-90 minutes daily.

In both scenarios, this means you must schedule time to do these activities; remember, what gets scheduled gets done.

Must 4: Get clear on the most impactful actions you need to take each day to help your team.

Now that you have confidence in your skills, it’s time to get clear on the daily actions you need to take to be impactful for your team. You’ll find this often means reducing the number of tasks you do and getting focused on the most impactful actions.

To discover this, simply answer these questions:

  1. What are the one to three most important actions I must take each day to impact my team positively?

For the podcast episode of this article, simply click here. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, the Molliteum Insider, to get trained weekly, for free, on more resilience skills like this. Like our YouTube channel, and click the notification bell so that you can get trained weekly with us on the Difference Maker Podcast.

Stay resilient.


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