A quiet man of music, Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once But his music wouldn’t wait He earned his love Through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand
I have been very fortunate through my career to have had the opportunity to work with, learn from and mentor some incredible people. I often get asked for advice, encouragement and suggestions as individuals are beginning their career and or reflecting on their careers. As I think through the many people I have encountered, and they come from all walks of life, they do have some traits and skills and beliefs that make them more similar than dissimilar. Although I do not profess to be an expert, I am a lifelong learner who has been shaped and influenced by some outstanding people at all levels. So let’s take a look at these traits, attributes and skills and together we can build a skills inventory that you may want to use as you perform your legacy analysis on yourself.
I believe it starts with Values. It is what you do when no one is watching that counts. Integrity can often be used to describe this activity but I would like to take it further, it is integrity of your word as well as your actions. I think the integrity of our actions is something we can grasp and to which we can relate. But what do I mean by integrity of your word, simply put, you make a commitment to follow up on something, respond to a request, commit to an action and you do it!
I believe that two fundamental ingredients of a successful person are hard work and enthusiasm. There is no substitute for Hard Work and an equation that I believe successful people use is…. Time + Effort + Enthusiasm = Results. Enthusiasm is what fuels your drive and keeps the engine revving. Without enthusiasm your equation is time and hard work, and although these are two important ingredients to success, always remember hard work without enthusiasm is just that… HARD WORK. Hard work by itself gets old!
Another way to look at it is Make it Fun, Make it Happen but Make it Happen. Finally, I believe we should all ask ourselves some key questions and answer them with a critical eye and with honesty of purpose:
- How can I add value in this current position and going forward?
- Do I have a process mind with a strategic vision and the ability to execute tactically the strategy?
- Can I develop a strategy, build a business plan and execute that plan?
- Can I provide clear communication and walk the talk?
- Can I teach my teams to learn to take better control of their day and balance multiple priorities, measuring and following-up for continuous improvement?
- Do I accept the responsibility for my results?