Winners at Work

Speaking on Peak Performance

As a high performance speaker and professional pianist I’m supposed to walk my talk or I lose credibility. If you’re an executive assistant, real estate agent, banker or project manager you need to be efficient, organized and professional or you could be replaced.

So what do you do when things don’t go your way?

Recently I was hired to play piano for a wedding ceremony in one of Houston’s most exclusive venues. To compliment the elegant decor the piano was an antique cherry wood instrument with curved legs and a high polish. There was no piano bench. Instead there was an old chair that sat so low I had to raise my hands six inches to reach the keyboard. To add salt to the tacky wound the piano hadn’t been tuned since the earth was cooling.

What would a top performer do?

Unbeknownst to the wedding party, I consulted the catering director and asked for folded tablecloths to be placed on the chair that raised me up to the level of the piano keyboard. Since there was nothing to do about the tuning I began playing promptly in time as guests were arriving. Bride and groom were happily married and rode off into the sunset.

The point? When you don’t have the right tools to do the job –  compensate without complaint. Complaining breeds distrust and spreads negativity in the workplace. It’s totally counter-productive and  destroys a good team. In the end, YOU”RE the one that looks bad.

Extraordinary performance is what it takes to thrive in today’s economy and stand out from the crowded competition.

Ignore Charlie Sheen‘s idea of winning (not!)  Pay attention to your words at work.


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