#3.1 Preparing to be a High Performer: Deliver Results; Warm Body Types Need Not Apply

We’ve already covered some ground about the criticality of delivering results. Success both starts and ends with how capable you are of giving your organization (or boss, peer, or client) what it needs. It is listed here as the number one item because delivering results is at the core of the entire concept of high performance, and rightly so. If you figure out how to deliver results in your organization (and you limit your mistakes), you will be a high performer—end of story.

Sleeping at Desk

Here I am going to add this information: organizations do not want just warm bodies. They don’t want people who will just sit around, taking up room and valuable resources (e.g., physical space, managerial attention, the cost of salary and benefits) while at the same time not producing results. They want employees who are going to be worthy of those resources—employees who will pull their own weight (and then some). Warm body types are often viewed as the opposite of the ideal.

Let’s take a minute to look a little more at what this means. Allow me to start by defining what I mean by a “warm body” type person: They come to work looking only for a paycheck, and they want to do as little as possible to obtain it. They are great at procrastination, which can take many forms. Sometimes it’s surfing the internet; other times it’s shooting the breeze with teammates or taking extended coffee breaks or writing page-long emails to old college friends. In all its forms, these folks are often like a cancer within an organization: they bring others down with them and consequently lower overall performance.


Another thing about these folks: they tend to give up too easily. They have a no-can-do mentality. They run into an obstacle, they shut down. Organizations need results, and to get those results, it takes the opposite of that—a willful can-do attitude.


At all costs, you want to avoid being labeled as a “warm body type”— it’s tough to recover from a negative public opinion—and even more importantly, you don’t want to actually be that kind of employee. High performers won’t find themselves in the “warm body” group or associating with them any more than incidentally.

Maintain a focus on delivering results. Don’t be a warm body. Keep a safe distance from warm body types lest they drag you down with them.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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