Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more. – Nikola Tesla

Innovate first, take the lead

As you notice opportunities for improvements, both strategic and operational, take the lead, innovate first and get those advancements in place. Don’t worry about getting the credit or recognition and don’t do it with that motivation in mind.

Focus on improving lives of others, such as your clients, your team, your partners and after all, yourself. Recognition for achievements will eventually come, but what will become more evident sooner is the satisfaction on faces of others whose lives you have improved and made easier.

Reflecting on the past year

It’s July 17th, and today is my birthday so I have been doing a bit of reflecting on the past year of my life and what I have accomplished (or haven’t, yet) during that time.
This is a great process to go through as it helps highlight what you have done thus far and to also assess your progress towards your personal and professional goals.

As years years go by, are you spending them wisely and are you working towards achieving your goals, and making your dreams a reality?

When it’s time to go, leave gracefully

Sooner or later, a moment will come when it is time move onto new opportunities in order to continue to grow, learn and advance. When this time arrives do your best to stay focused on present and even more importantly on your future. Leave past where it belongs, behind you and don’t burn any bridges on your way out.

No matter what has happened, in most instances, it is not worth leaving in a negative light and being remembered that way as you never know what life may bring your way down the road. You may in fact return to the same organization some five or ten years later and you want to be remembered as an individual of integrity, quality and knowledge, not as someone who threw a tantrum prior to slamming a door on their way out.

Think long term, think strategically and position yourself in a way where people will always be glad to see you. Stay cool, calm and collected.

You are not allowed to quit!

Are you in pursuit of a lifelong goal? Is it getting tough to get there? Have you started doubting yourself and are you considering settling for something less? Are you thinking about giving up? Well…you won’t and here’s why.

You are not allowed to quit going after what you truly want and what you truly see as your goal. You are not allowed to let others down who have been helping and encouraging you along this journey. You are not allowed to give up on your dreams and your future.

With that being settled, shake off any setbacks you may have experienced; look yourself in the mirror and say “I got this!” Now, go get it!

You get what you pay for

When making enterprise decisions look beyond the initial cost and consider total cost of ownership (TCO), usability and user experience. While current cost is an important line item it shouldn’t be the main (or only) factor to consider when deciding which systems or services to implement or who to hire and promote. Look at the overall value that particular enterprise solution will provide to your customers, clients, partners, staff and finally you before making a decision.

In short, as my dad told me many years ago…

Often, the cheapest thing today will prove to be the most expensive in the long run.

Is your team providing strategic value?

Every once in a while do a complete assessment of your and your team’s contributions to the overall mission, vision and purpose of the organization that you work for. During this process, ask yourself, are you providing strategic value? Are you contributing (directly or indirectly) to the main cause and main reason why all of you are there? If the answer is no, start thinking how to realign and refocus so that you are more valuable to the overall organization.

Reasons as to why one should do this are more than self-explanatory. ;)

Give people your undivided attention

Wherever you may be, especially when in smaller groups, please provide your colleagues and coworkers the respect that you would expect in return. Give them your undivided attention, focus on what they are saying and the message or need that they are conveying at that time.

Focusing your attention on them demonstrates your commitment to their need and clearly displays your willingness to listen and contribute when necessary. Show them that they your value their time and that their needs are important to you.

It’s OK to say NO

If you really don’t want to do something let the other person know right away. Be sincere and straightforward and say no to things and plans you have no interest in being a part of. Saying no can be liberating, empowering and will definitely let others know where they stand with you which is what we all want anyway – honesty and trust.

Don’t make promises you can’t or don’t want to keep.

The value of good advice

The value of good advice comes in its honesty, truthfulness and sincerity. Whether you like it or not, it is important to value advice based on facts from those you trust and believe in.

Similarly, when asked to provide advice do so honestly and sincerely, even if the other person may not like it or may not be what they expected (wanted) you to say, as only that way you will provide them value that they need and have come to seek.

Engage, listen, learn then lead

Embrace the ideas of others, invite and enable all to share their opinions, ideas and suggestions as only then you will begin to align and improve. Additionally, if your ideas get challenged (in a professional and respectful manner) publicly, appreciate and respect people’s ideas and suggestions and take them under advisement.

Finally, don’t be vindictive towards those who respectfully present ideas even if they go against your initial proposal – if it is a great idea, it must win and see the light of day no matter where it came from. Remember, teams are all about collaboration, communication and mutual respect.