During my working career, in which I have spent 44 years (36 in middle or upper management with the other 8 years divided among the military and a variety of blue collar jobs), I have discovered that whether you work for small, medium-sized, or large companies what one does to be successful is all basically the same; although many self-help gurus would lead you to believe otherwise, hence their $1,500 to $2,500 per head seminars or their $25 to $50 books you can buy at Barnes & Noble.
However, a disclaimer here is in order and I would like to say that there are typically 2 exceptions:
The first relates to holding a degree in any field from one of the Ivy League Schools, such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.
The second relates and is directly proportional to how weathy one's family is as this can strongly influence one's success as well.
So, where do we begin our journey?
1. Who are you? What do you know?
This is a question that I asked my Entrepreneurial students on the first day of class that I now ask all my students on the first day of class. Why? Because it tells me a lot about a student's confidence, self-esteem, personality, and values, but it more importantly tells me what value they are going to be able to add to an employer.
One is not hired based upon grades or age or their experience, but on the level of and the kind of value they offer their employer, just like a professional athlete. In order for me to stand in front of a classroom to teach, someone perceived I could add value to the student and not just fill a vacancy.
In order to add value, one must not only have the ability to retain knowledge but one must be able to use that knowledge. So, simply memorizing is not the best approach to take. Also, in our fast technologically moving society, companies will send employees off for training, not to make the highest grade in the class, but so that the knowledge can be put to good use.
2. Arrive early, leave late
This is not just about being punctual until one's probationary period is over, but arriving 15-30 minutes early for the rest of your career. And, it is not just about what your Mom may have said about the early bird catching the worm, because you are setting a standard by which success is achieved; it is the giving of 110% that separates the men from the boys (so to speak and no offense to women) as well as the losers from the winners. Your bosses will notice because they will be doing the same thing.
What you will find in the world of business if you have not discovered already is that very little from a white collar perspective gets done between the hours of 8-5 because white collars are always putting out fires; therefore, it is always necessary to remain after hours to get all the other work you were hired to do done.
Stayed tuned for 3 more TIPS on Thursday, July 25.