Transcript ( Wednesday, January 26, 2022, raw unedited.)
"Well today we're going to go beyond talent. So hang on here we go. Welcome back this is bradley waldrop and we are talking about project leadership were talking about leadership were talking about initiative were talking about all kinds of things and over the last couple days i have been sort of struck by some of my own sort of my own personal experiences that that got me to where i am but also that have nothing to do with work and but but they actually relate directly to work and then you can kind of see how some of those stories weave their way into work. So. What i'd like to be able to do is just sort of i don't know go through a series of maybe struggles that you might see in your own career that i've seen in mind i really wish that you and i can have this conversation across the table and i can ask you a whole bunch of questions because you know i could come across is totally presumptuous like i know it all in it and i don't i don't know your story i don't know my neighbors story i would like to know them and i do what i can to ask questions when i'm available or when someone else is in the room. And i'm naturally curious but. Because you're listening to this that means it's like a one-way communication so if it comes across as pompous and and presumptuous. It might my heart my heartfelt apologies for that it's not my intention with my intention is to try to get to try to put myself into your shoes to try to put myself into into history where i have been and explain my own journey and maybe you guys get a chance to relate to it a little bit. So as we talked about this journey you may or may not have heard i was a i was a high-performing athlete in high school i got i got in my nice sort of. Athletic groove light in my own life i mean most of them most of my friends you know they were playing pop warner football when they were really young they were doing some sort of. Either b intercollegiate sport or or intramural sport in in middle school i ran track and i was slow and i i tried to play basketball i play basketball when i was in elementary school i really really really enjoyed it but if you've ever seen me i'm vertically challenged. I don't play i don't play basketball i used to play basketball a lot in the street and what have you and i really enjoy the sport but but everybody else got bigger than me i played i played football i play tag flag football in in middle school or junior high middle school because my kids are older my kids went through where we call it middle school when i was a kid was called junior high football and football. But that was that was really it wasn't great i am what i was on the varsity football team my junior and senior year i think i was on the varsity football team my junior year because lately just felt sorry for me during my senior year i had a few interceptions had qufu chi-chi tackles i enjoyed the playing the sport but i wasn't i wasn't super passionate about it wasn't it wasn't the that the kind of thing that i really really wanted to excel in and a couple different reasons which i felt like i was short on talent and. I wasn't physically you know that the same build as the other guys that i was playing with. I did happen to find sort of a groove when i was in high school. In wrestling and it's really kind of interesting because i i came into the high school and he did sort of walk you back a little bit i was in high school my freshman year i was 5 ft 205 lb. Iso 542 105 lb i was 105 lb woman wringing wet i mean i was. I wasn't i wasn't well-built and i was little pudgy i'd been always a little pudgy on my life i'm a lot more pudgy now than then i was then and i'm trying to do something about it but that's completely different story for a different day so in high school though i got a chance to be exposed to this sport of wrestling and for me wrestling was great because i got a chance to participate. From a. Team event right where we all do our best and then an individual event i tried swimming which is a very individual it's a very similar words right is very individual event but he also participate in the team the problem the problem was working for me is that i had my head under water all the time i could talk that was a challenge for me so i don't like it anymore as far as a sport i still love jumping in the pool and swimming but as a sport i couldn't handle the practice it was just too much silence didn't work for me and what what's really interesting to me in this sport of wrestling is that there is. There is raw talent but there's also practice and that practice makes you better and better and better and better and one of the things that that i found was was happening in my own of sort of wrestling career is that i got to a point where my personal coach couldn't do much better for me and and that was okay i wasn't i wasn't trying to go to college on a wrestling scholarship but i did want to be really really good i got a chance to go to a wrestling camp and that wrestling camp was a i think it was like a week-long from from a long it took forever but i learned a lot and i learned a few different things one positive mental attitude another. Is going above and beyond what everyone else is doing so if you are in in your own sort of world right in and you have a set of skills you have talent you have natural talent well given the same amount of effort everyone with very similar natural talent is going to sort of be at the same spot but in order to be really good. You have to have to give you extra 10% you have to give the extra 20%. Well. So what's. That that was that was very clear to me i came back from that wrestling camp thinking man what an amazing thing i wish i had had this. My freshman year i wish i had gone back and done something similar my sophomore year and then again in my junior year. By the time i was a senior i probably would have been sort of state champion you know level level wrestler i was sectional level wrestler not state. I could have been national because because of the training that comes from the sort of intensives. Well. The intensive part is is short right you get coached and then you do something with it and you put in the extra effort and in you sort of turn these lessons into habits and pretty soon these lessons inhabits become part of who you are and you start to perform at a much higher level. The same is true in our work. I can remember when i first started engineering i used to get in trouble i got in trouble in the very beginning of my career when i was doing oh i did overtime work because i had made mistakes and also look if you all can remember in your own career when you first started you thought me and i'm getting hourly paycheck somebody's going to pay me for every hour i'm here and i tell you what i got in a lot of trouble for that kind of attitude and i don't want anybody here getting in trouble for the same attitude i actually shifted my attitude after i had a sit-down with my boss there if you're listening thank you very much for the sit down. So. The sit-down was he i was working on some drafty i can't remember exactly what project was working on some drafting and at the same time i was working on some database development for some cost estimating at the database at the database component of it was something i was super interested in but no one really asked me to do it it was just me taking initiative kind of like what we were talking about before and i sort of screwed things up and i kept working on a working on it finally finally got it done this overtime. And i told him i said well i'm i'm super excited i'm trying to help i'm trying to trying to get this thing fixed but it's taking me a lot longer to get it fixed and what i thought was going to take me and so i put it on my timesheet and got elected me and he shook his head he goes no that's not the way it works around here. And so i learned a couple different lessons one is i'm i'm willing to put in the extra effort that the other is he should communicate better about about how to do that well but so here's here's what happened though that the here's the transformation is one i had when i was younger. A my career i thought i was entitled to the overtime and then i realized through the following couple years that i wasn't entitled to overtime but i if i wanted to say excel in my career i needed to put in the extra effort if i made a mistake during the day i had to stay late in the afternoon to get it done on my own time if i had was behind on my deadline because i give a promise that i get it done in 10 hours and i didn't get it done in 10 hours i was in on a weekend making up the time and getting it done and not putting it on my timesheet i was doing what i had to do to excel in the technical performance of my work and i wanted other people to recognize that i was committed to do this into do it well. Now what i can tell you is that there are other people who i've worked with in my own career and i am surrounded by them all the time that were either more advanced than i was when i started my career right they'd already had a few years in or. When i finally when i finally met up with them they they maybe we're better at it than i was well for the majority of the people i work with now i have advance my career farther and faster than them and i don't think it's because i'm any smarter than them i think it's because i took the time and took the energy to start working on things at home at the office late at night going in early and not clock in the end working on the weekends reading where i could finding other people that knew how to do it and starting after their questions and so what i'm trying to say is that there is at there is a way for us to perform very very well even if we're in a talent pool that is as hyatt eavers right so high achievers is great but high-achievers plus the extra effort. Means a lot more and you're going to find that that that is one of the things that is going to set you apart in your own career it's not about sitting in your desk asking your boss what to do and then not a not behaving with integrity integrity but with with initiative that we talked about a couple episodes ago but it's also about. Trying to figure out what it is you personally lack ask other people for feedback what is it that you're doing well what is it that you suck at what is it what is it that you feel uncomfortable with so that you can get more comfortable with it what do you have a passion for that maybe you're not being exposed to at work but you need to figure it out where are the gaps along the way find of course find a book find a coach find a mentor fill in those gaps so that you can take your career way past where everybody else is i got to tell you i am absolutely blessed and one of these days or one of these shows i will i will talk about how i advance from one position to the next and one job to the next but i can tell you that this is a fascinating career and it's a career that would have never been made if i had settled for mediocrity if i had just said hey luck i've got a pretty good talent in math and science i've got a pretty good talent with people skills and that's where i'm going to leave it you know what i could have i could have parked myself. Hadda in an office management to a team management or a project management role many many years ago had the same paycheck been just fine but that's not my personality and i don't think it's your personality either you wouldn't be listening to this particular show so here's my encouragement to you go and figure out what it is the gaps are that you have even if you have to take some gases start writing them down today i want to learn more about marketing today and want to learn more about conflict resolution today and want to learn more about negotiation today i want to learn more about human resources and how to build strong teams today i want to learn a little bit more about the difference between leadership and management today i want to learn about someone and so forthright and list all of those put some priorities to him and go do them. All right and then when you do them all of a sudden you're going to realize that over a. of time and it's a short. of time the difference between between you knowing a little bit and you being the expert at it or it's not that much more effort all right and so please put the time and energy in it if this was an encouragement to you please let me know i would love to hear in an email with what you are sort of trying to fill the some gaps for. And what you've decided to do in order to do that and i would love it if you would send that email to bradley at waldrop communications.com again bradley at waldrop communications.com in i mean really encouraged me by by hearing how i'm encouraged i want i want to know that you're doing something with the information that we're putting out here and i'm encouraged to know that. You can take your current career even if it is somewhat mediocre and create it to be absolutely excellent so. With all of that man i really really appreciate you sitting here listening and if i did take you off by being totally presumption presumptuous about be talking about my own experiences hit me up in the email and tell me that you're go pound sand i'm all right with that alright well until next time take care. Well there you have it there is another way for you to be able to take advantage of this going beyond talent and putting in the extra effort there are resources that we have available online i would love for you to jump in there but hit me up bradley at waldrop communications.com tell me what the challenges in front of you and how we can help you until then take good care of yourself and take good care of your team."