It's Not What You've Done Lately that Matters
The talk of the town in the last few weeks has been Meryl Streep, and not for her performance in her latest movie; Florence Foster Jenkins. Her speech was important and resounded with people on both sides, but what gave her speech it's foundation was her body of work.
As you work, on those days you make mistakes and don't seem to meet the goals expected, it seems as though everyone is talking about your failure. Maybe weeks even a month or two pass and you still hear whispers about it; don't be discouraged. The last thing you do may sit for a while as your headline but it is your body of work that determines the lasting outcome of what you have done.
Without a solid body of work - meeting deadlines, going above and beyond, working well with your team, leading by tapping each person's strengths to get the job done - a failure can do you in. Everyone, particularly the managers around you, knowing what your normal is makes a failure seem like a one time thing; not that you're perfect but your normal is as close to being perfect as you can get. If your normal "work" is above your current position level and above those around you then your failure becomes a learning lesson.
Back to Meryl Streep, no one has said much about her role as Florence Foster Jenkins , which was a true story by the way. I thought maybe it wasn't very good, so I watched it. It was very good. It was in-line with Meryl Streep - a stellar performance and a belief that she was the person she was playing. Maybe no one will talk about this role as one of her best, but at the end of the day they can't say it wasn't her normal; good, solid performance.
If you don't know her body of work, check out Meryl Streep Movie Club for a run down.