Norton: Top performers never just check the box |

Norton: Top performers never just check the box

And neither should you.

We know when we are simply going through the motions, don’t we? We also recognize when we are doing something without passion or purpose, just kind of checking the boxes of life as we go along. It’s in the moment when we realize that our checking the box strategy isn’t quite getting us to where we want to be or allowing us to do what we are capable of doing, that’s when we become motivated to take action.

Top performers who excel personally and professionally never just check the box. They have a mindset to achieve personal excellence, a motivation to exceed professional expectations, and often find themselves inspiring excellence and top performance in those around them.

Last week we talked about using disruptive tenacity to destroy our destructive behaviors and bad habits. Well, one of those bad habits for some of us is going through our personal and professional life just checking the boxes. I am not referring to our to-do list or task list. We want to get those checked off for sure. What I am referring to are the important and meaningful things in our lives that help to take our game to the next level.

Achieving personal excellence isn’t a result of checking the box or phoning it in. Achieving personal excellence is driven by our passion, it is fueled by our deepest desires, goals, and dreams. Whether we want to see a physical change, learn something new, or endeavor to explore and experience new things in life, we never get there by settling for where we are today. We reach higher, we see farther and don’t check the box — we blow the box up.

Exceeding professional expectations is very much the same as achieving personal excellence. Mediocrity becomes the norm when we get to work right on time and leave exactly when the clock says we should. Top performers aren’t driven by what time they come and go from work, top performers and those who exceed professional expectations are driven by results, not clocks. Top performers under-promise and over-deliver. These are the folks who don’t even know what check the box means, it’s not in their vocabulary.

Inspiring others happens naturally for people who achieve personal excellence and exceed professional expectations. Just like positive people typically attract other positive people, winners often attract winners. Winners and people who want to get ahead tend to gravitate to those who are setting a positive example and delivering results. Top performers set the pace and usually do not like to be overtaken. And as they strive for even greater success, they are bringing others with them along the way.

Some of us are motivated by the fear of loss or pain. We will not change, act, or react until we experience such great fear or potential loss. Others of us are inspired by pleasure or gain. We get excited and fired up when we see that there is an opportunity in front of us. And here is the thing, I have met incredibly successful people in my life who come from both camps. Either way, the fear of loss or pleasure of gain, when we are truly motivated, we never just check the box.

Think about what it is you want the most in life. Take a moment and reflect on what you would like to do or have in life. Now, stop and take another moment and ask yourself if you are doing everything possible to realize your goals and dreams, if not maybe you are just checking the box.

So how about you? Are you in top performance mode achieving personal excellence, exceeding professional expectations, and inspiring others? Do you need a little help or motivation getting yourself or your team there? Either way and as always, I would love to hear your story at And when we can stop just checking the box, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is the Chief Revenue Officer for Eventus Solutions Group, a strategic consultant, business, and personal coach, and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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