I believe that personal success and happiness start with having a clear sense of your inner values—an understanding of who you are as a person, what you stand for and the values you’ll never compromise. For example, one of my bedrock personal values is integrity—being honest, open and candid; always doing what you say you’ll do; and doing the right thing.
My advice is to join a company that shares your values. If your company and co-workers don’t operate with the same basic set of core values that you do, you’ll never be happy, and chances are the relationship will be short-lived. Here are a few other words of advice I would offer:
- Make your career aspirations known to your organization’s leadership and periodically ask how you’re doing on the path to get there.
- Know what you don’t know, then do what’s necessary to gain that knowledge, or seek the counsel of those who already have it.
- Never be afraid to ask questions or for help when you need it. There’s a far greater risk of failing at a task or project when you don’t have all the knowledge or resources you need.
- Seek out periodic feedback on your leadership style; then be open to any suggestions, and be willing to work on your opportunities.
- Look for and take advantage of opportunities to broaden your career experiences, and be bold in your choices. Step out- side your comfort zone. Try something you’ve never done before.
- When you have the opportunity to lead a team, create and clearly communicate a compelling vision of the team’s purpose and goals; then focus the team on the right priorities to achieve the vision.
- When building a team, first consider the skills and expertise you’ll need. The most successful teams are made up of people with different, yet complementary, skills, ensuring diversity of thought. Recognize and capitalize on the unique role each team member can play beyond his or her functional expertise.
Other types of diversity also are important when forming a team that will give you a wide range of perspectives. Show you appreciate people for who they are and what they bring to the table. I’m proud to work for a company that promotes diversity in all its forms, internally and externally. When you feel appreci- ated for who you are, you feel at home and are more likely to be fully engaged.