Necessary, but not sufficient

When working towards a goal, there are some things that you absolutely must do (necessary.) Not doing them will not help you achieve your goal. Having said that, simply doing just those things is not nearly enough (not sufficient) Case in point: Let’s say your goal is to lose weight. In addition to working out, you’d probably need to do other things, such as getting the right amount of rest, eating healthy, and managing stress. In this case, if you want to lose weight, exercising is necessary, but not sufficient.



I was reminded by this concept this week when one of my friends shared with me their disappointment in being passed over for a career opportunity. They talked about how they worked hard and had performed well but still had not received the opportunity, and shared their frustration that despite their loyalty and efforts they were not rewarded.

In order to achieve high performance in a company, working hard and executing is necessary but not  sufficient*. In high performing companies, it is the expectation that you will show up, do your job and do it well. If you want to stand out, and achieve high marks, there are other things you need to do in order to achieve that goal, such as building relationships with the right people, making sure you get recognized for your work, supporting other people, and making yourself indispensable to your team/organization.

As you think about your own performance goals and aspirations at work, I urge you to think about two questions: What is necessary to achieve this goal, and what else do I need to do in order to sufficiently achieve this goal? Separating out these two questions and spending some time to think about answers will give you a much more holistic perspective about what you need to do in order to achieve success.


*there are always exceptions to this rule, we all know someone who doesn’t do anything and still gets promoted, but generally it rings true.