Recently I had the unique opportunity to speak with a group of emerging business leaders, offering advice on an array of career minded topics. These discussions prompted a great deal of reflection as I carefully contemplated their questions and what it actually takes to be successful in today’s fast paced business environment.
Interestingly, I remain more convinced than ever that there are no secrets to this constantly debated question. Some individuals are simply willing to put in the time and effort. This is also a reason why the self-improvement industry is estimated to exceed $13 billion dollars by 2022. Wanting to excel and completing the necessary steps to get there are two very different things. With this in mind, here are the key thoughts I shared with this next generation of aspiring leaders:
Yes, there is working harder, smarter and finding balance in life. But if you are only working 40 hours a week, you are probably not committed to becoming a top performer. The harder you work, the more luck you will have. There are no shortcuts.
It’s Still a People Business
Despite technological advancements and all the different ways there are to communicate today, you are still interacting with people. Invariably, you will find different personalities and needs but you must be able to listen and react accordingly. Smart phones and tablets certainly help us connect but they will never replace a personal relationship.
You must become an expert in your field. Dedicate yourself to being a continual student of the game. The business landscape is evolving faster than ever – your knowledge and skillset must as well.
Closely examine the quality of your relationships both personally and professionally. They will provide real insight into the direction you are heading. If the people in your circle don’t challenge and inspire you, that same circle could end up becoming a cage. Ultimately, we get to choose who we spend our time with. Make it count.
Never allow another person or culture to dictate your ethics. Let your reputation reflect an uncompromising commitment to honor, integrity and the highest principles. It will pay off in the long run.
A Final Reminder
The very best in any industry have a different outlook and it is apparent in everything they do – their thoughts, style, and attitude. Most importantly, they understand that the great things in life take time.
As you ascend in your career, do not lose sight of the fact that success is frequently preceded by failure. Disappointments will be inevitable. How you respond to them is something entirely different. Keep your chin high and never let someone or something take away your passion.