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The simple act that will pay dividends for you and your career

just showing up can change matters
just showing up can change matters
Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images

It is amazing how a few simple acts, consistently applied, will reap great benefits in today’s fast paced and complex environment.

Here is a simple one that, on the face of it, seems so elementary that one would think that the act would be taken for granted, but consistency in this area is so rare that someone who constantly performs stands out from the crowd.

That is the singular act of showing up. I told you it was simple. But think for a moment, how many meetings have been cancelled because someone wouldn’t, couldn’t or didn’t show up? Showing up has become a rare and valued commodity in today’s world. The physical act of actually being somewhere adds value almost automatically.
For example, a manager of a widely located sales team can analyze reports and determine a number of factors about his or her employees. However, a visit to the office locations of these folks can reveal a multitudes. It may explain the variance in numbers, the way a team works together, or the flow of customers in and out of a location.
All of this can be ascertained by simply showing up.

Showing up can also mean being on conference calls, answering e-mails, managing social media. It is duly noted when someone develops the reputation of prompt responses to all requests coming in.
Some executives excuse themselves by justifying busyness or importance. However, if they have allowed themselves to be assigned to a meeting and then never show up at that meeting, they can be perceived as not giving value to the meeting or the people involved. Better to get oneself taken off the meeting roster than to miss every meeting.

Showing up has additional meaning as well. Successful people show up at things that make them successful. They show up at seminars, classes, webinars and any number of things that will give value to them and their careers.

They show up as volunteers, coaches, teammates and parents. I once had a teacher tell me that the parents they always saw at PTA meetings were not the parents they really need to see. But perhaps the reason the teacher’s successful pupils were successful is that the student’s parents showed up!

Reading, studying, writing letters to the editor, calling a member of congress are all ways of showing up.

Last but perhaps the most important reason for showing up is that almost always showing up is keeping a promise. That can be the most powerful reason of all.