Tools and Resources: the Link to Performance

Have you ever tried to complete a report while your computer kept crashing? Have you been given an unrealistic deadline, had people ignore your requests for information, or tried to find a missing file that is nowhere to be found? When you don’t have the right tools or resources, it is hard to perform well, let alone at the exemplary level.

When we talk about the tools needed to do your job, the obvious items come to mind. However, there are other tools that we don’t often think of which can impact performance. For example, I once worked in an office and had to walk to another side of the building when I printed a document. This walk took about two minutes each way if no one stopped me. However, most of the time, I ended up talking with someone. This meant that picking up a document could take 15 to 20 minutes of my day. If there were a printer close to my desk, I would have been more productive.

Thinking about the resources needed to do your job, you often need to work with others, access to information, allocation of budget, and adequate time. Without these, performance will suffer. The challenge with resources is that we don’t think about them until they’re not there. For example, I worked on a project and needed information from our VP of Sales. I emailed him, then called him, and then called again the next day. A few days later I found out he had traveled out of the country and he wasn’t able to get me the information I needed until he returned. This put me behind and unable to complete my report on time.

In reviewing the Tools and Resources factor, this seems straight forward. However, it is not always easy to address. For example, what if leaders are slashing the budget to save jobs and you can’t get money to buy a new printer? In the case of the Sales VP being away, how can you learn that faster and ask for the information from someone else? In situations like this, be creative to overcome these barriers. In my research and experience, I have found that exemplary performers never let this stand in their way. They find a way to get the tools and the resources they need to continue performing at the exemplary level.

This is exactly what you need to do. First, identify whether you have the tools and resources needed to perform at the exemplary level. Then, if you lack something, find a way to get it. I once used my personal laptop until the company fixed my work computer. I also have been known to go to every leader in a department until I received the information I needed (I learned from the Sales VP experience). When faced with a tools and resources challenge, think of it as an opportunity to show how resourceful you are. Never let it get in the way of your performance.

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