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Throughout my career as a business journalist and career coach, I’m regularly asked what separates top performers from the rest of the pack. It’s a great question.

What I’ve consistently observed over the years is that elite performers who’ve experienced long-term success, have a go-getter mentality.


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The best way to figure out if you’re a go-getter is go back and review what you did today, yesterday and the day before that. Consistency drives your progress. Your resume is a list of accomplishments you have under your belt, but your track record is what you do, day in and day out. If managed well, your track record can change the status quo. This is what go-getters do.

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1. Go-Getters always progress. They’re proactive, not reactive. For example, if a go-getter has a brilliant idea for a project, they don’t just go into their boss with just the mere idea. They breathe life into their ideas and go in with as much as the project already complete or with a plan of how it will work and why. Others go in with just an idea and it gets shot down. Why? Because it’s easy to kill something that doesn’t exist.

2. Go-Getters do the work. When some are out having drinks with co-workers, top performers are grinding hard on their passions. When most give up, top performers push harder.

3. Go-Getters don’t complain. Many place the blame on others and play the victim role. They say things like, “the boss is out to get me.” or, “office politics are holding me back.” Conversely, go-getters acknowledge what’s going on around them and figure out how to make their situation better while constantly growing. They wonder what the opportunity is for them to learn from each situation.

4. Go-Getters spend time with people who make them better. These are people who challenge them, empower them and hold them accountable. These are their allies of glory. Average performers spend time with people who accept mediocrity and who won’t challenge them. These thieves of ambition allow people to keep complaining and for the “woe is me” mentality to persist. Go-getters don’t have time for that.

5. Go-Getters have integrity. They take full responsibility and accountability for their actions. They do what they say they are going to do. They keep agreements.

Here’s the deal: No one cares more about your career and whether or not you become a go-getter more than you do.  Not your boss. Not the human resources department. Not your company.

What you did yesterday is a great indicator of your future success, or lack thereof. So what will you do today?

Antonio Neves is a career coach, an award-winning broadcast journalist, and the founder of THINQACTION, an organization dedicated to young professionals.


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