Wanna get ahead? Take note.
People ask me a lot what it takes to be successful in business. How you define success may have something to do with the equation, but the truth is there are constants.
Regardless of your career path in the private sector, government or NGO, there are really just three things you need to do consistently to be successful, however you define that.
- Show Up
- Work Hard
- Get Along with Others
Maybe you thought it was a little more complex, but its not.
People don’t “show up” a lot. Of course many people log on to a system, go to an office or arrive at a store or factory, but they’re not there. They haven’t shown up. And there’s no two ways about it, Ram Dass was right – the best life is one in which you are present. Be here now, he said.
Put some skin in the game and participate: you were hired for the things your company thinks you can do. What are you saving them for? Of course, as one of my earliest leaders, Thane Brown, liked to say, “be mostly right.” Being a whirling dervish of ill-conceived ideas is not the same as showing up. But if you’re not present in the first place, how would we ever know?
So you want to get a good start? Trying showing up for work – really.
There are phrases that come and go quickly in the workplace losing their caché quickly. But one that never dims regardless of where you are is the adage to work hard. Why? Because so many people who have the opportunity to don’t. And they lose opportunity every day because of that.
Working hard isn’t function of a lot of hours on the clock, although there will be times when you do that – work ebbs and flows. Working hard is being productive, getting things done and staying in the zone.
It’s about staying focused on what really matters and pushing ahead relentlessly, Yes, some days are better than others but if you apply yourself – doing the best you can do every day whatever that is – you’ll be surprised how much you can achieve.
Get Along with Others
I’m not sure work is much like kindergarten but I do know you’d better learn to play well with others if you want to be successful.
My career has allowed me to work with many, many bright people, and I’ve really enjoyed it – brainpower is exhilarating. Yet, I’ve seen many sidetrack their careers and a few even crash and burn because they could not understand how important it is to work well with others. On the other hand, people with high EQ can readily debate opposing positions and do so without a loss of respect or collaboration.
You need to get there.
The world is too networked, our efforts too intertwined to be a lone wolf anymore. You have got to understand how others might perceive you and do a reality check: is that really how you want to come off? This is the key to enabling project support which is how the work place runs today: people work on projects.
And they want to work with people they like.
That’s it: three simple things applicable in any field. Yes, you need the resident skills and knowledge of your profession but this write assumes you got that – you’ve been hired. This is about how to take full advantage of that.
If you’re still not sure, go back to the top of the page.