As I continue learning from my mentors, I’m pleased to have an opportunity to share insight with rising stars. Of all the lessons I’ve learned during my career, there are four key principles I have tried to model and pass on to others.
Trust Your Instincts and Go With Your Strengths.
Inside all of us is a certainty about who we are and what we want to do. I define success as discovering something you like to do, being good at it and finding a fit in an organization that appreciates your talent. It may take some searching, but if you trust your instincts to make the right career choices, you will have the strength to weather the challenges and succeed.
Take Risks and Never Compromise Your Core Moral Values.
Every time you step up and show courage, you will not necessarily be rewarded. You must, however, stand up for what you know to be right. Shake off criticism and maintain your optimism. Respect for yourself and a reliance on your values will, almost without fail, lead you to the right conclusion.
Know When To Stretch Yourself Professionally And Be Persistent.
Even if you are great at what you are doing and know your business inside and out, you won’t progress if you don’t broaden your skill set. Aim for a job where you have 60 percent of the competency required and can contribute from the start. Be a quick study on the 40 percent of the job that’s new. Stick with it and be persistent—because persistence is a must for any successful career.
Don’t Go It Alone.
You need others around you, a competent team, not only to help get the job done, but also to keep on track. Develop strong networks, and rely on your staff. Take the extra time to coach and develop the people around you, and, over time, you will have created a strong, loyal team that will carry you through the challenging times and share your desire to succeed.
In selecting your own mentors, look for coaches who focus on driving success rather than merely preventing failure. Finally, be certain to do your part to mentor the next generation of leaders. It feels great to point out a star when you see one.