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Top Ten Beliefs for Business and Career Success
There have been zillions of words written about business and career success. It’s about leadership – it’s about execution – it’s about habits – it’s about communication. In the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld: “yada yada yada.”
The fact is there are many roads to success, but underlying them all is that successful people share certain beliefs about themselves, their colleagues, and their customers. Without those beliefs, none of the above will work. Listen carefully – I’m about to share with you a not-so-closely-guarded secret: The top ten beliefs for business and career success.
10. You are responsible for your own success. That means you need to bring your “A” game every day, do your homework, pay attention, get dirty.
9. Trust begins with you. That means that you have to take some risks. You can’t say, “You trust me first, and then I’ll trust you.” You start by being trustworthy yourself. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Follow through on your commitments. Be open about your thoughts and feelings.
8. Supporting others contributes to success. Hardly anyone works alone. Nearly everyone is part of some kind of team in today’s work place. So lend a hand, pitch in, contribute resources.
7. There is value in differences. You need to go beyond giving lip service to diversity in the work place. You need to make sure your work teams are diverse with respect to age, experience, professional background, and skill sets. Avoid tokenism. Really seek out those colleagues who can contribute to success by bringing in a variety of perspectives and experiences.
6. Teamwork works. We tend to elevate the myth of the individual contributor – think Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein. The fact is that Edison had a team of over 600 people working with him. He didn’t do anything alone. Einstein didn’t sit in a laboratory all by himself thinking up the Theory of Relativity. He bounced ideas off many of the most renowned scientific minds of the 19th and 20th centuries before he was able to integrate everything he heard and come up with his own special way of looking at the universe.
5. People want, need, and deserve respect. This means listening with an open mind, encouraging others to contribute, giving support to those who need it, understanding where people are coming from. It also means being able to disagree without being disagreeable.
4. Involve the people who know the job best. When you need ideas or information, get into the trenches with the people who are actually doing the work. If you want to know how a machine or a process works, don’t ask the engineers – they’ll tell you how it’s supposed to work. Ask the machine operators – they’ll tell you what’s really going on.
3. Quality is everyone’s job. What, you thought quality was the Quality Control Manager’s job? Every individual involved in a business process has to take responsibility for the quality of what they produce. Quality is what keeps your business competitive.
2. Anything can be improved. Just when you think you’ve reached perfection, it’s time to take things apart and see if you can make them better. If it ain’t broke, break it! Then fix it so it’s better than before. Continuous improvement is a major element of business success.
1. And the number one belief for business and career success: The customer’s needs are critical. If you don’t respond to the customer’s needs at all times, you lose the customer and the business.
Does this list seem simplistic? You were expecting rocket science? It’s amazing how many organizations and individuals either forget or ignore these basics. Don’t be one of them!