Elevating your leadership | If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

If you are the smartest person in the room, leave that room

Smarts and intelligence can be seen attributed to different aspects and behaviors, but we all generally agree and know when someone is smart and when they are not. If you have observed that you are frequently the smartest person in meetings and on projects (assuming a great degree of self-awareness here) the time may have come to consider finding a different room.

Continuous challenges and opportunities to learn and educate yourself is what will make you grow, improve and advance. Staying on the same level which you have already mastered will only stagnate and limit your potential and possibilities.

Major accomplishments are marathons, not sprints

Accomplishments require effort, commitment, focus and skill. Major accomplishments require more of each of those attributes and then some. Keep focusing on making progress each day even if that progress are small steps, as one day, all of those small steps will be added together into a successfully completed marathon.

Now, that I have reminded myself of that as well, it’s time to make progress on my dissertation. The time is now!

Who should you include in e-mails

E-mails are a staple of the business world and whether we like them or not, they are here to stay a while longer. When writing e-mails you should focus on being both efficient (no War and Peace novels, please) and effective (get your point across and go for the desired outcome). Focus on actionable items or knowledge sharing and exclude other useless information which provides no value.

When writing an e-mail address it ONLY to people that you need to ACT on something or that you believe should be INFORMED of something, no one else! Finally, include immediate supervisors ONLY if there’s no progress or acknowledgement, not as a default practice.

Don’t hold grudges, they limit your success

Holding grudges will hurt you as much as the other side. At times, some actions or words can’t (and probably shouldn’t) be forgotten, but in business it is nearly pointless to hold grudges.

Disagreements of the past should not determine your partnerships, collaboration and mutual success of the future. Put egos aside and work together towards achieving your organizational vision and major strategic goals.

You will grow and you will learn, but you will never “make it”

Each of has has our own goals that we want to accomplish and those goals are frequently modified before they are actually realized. As we achieve our goals, we set news ones and that process never ends for most people. There is always something we want to accomplish, whether professionally or personally and as such one rarely even reaches the point of “all done” now there’s nothing else to do or work on.

Furthermore, while the specific definition of “I made it” varies for all of us, the underlying principle is always the same: living happy and fulfilling lives while being valuable and helpful to others.

Be mindful of the present, but staff for the future

Build your teams thoughtfully. As opportunities open up to add new staff, carefully consider both your team’s and organizational needs then staff accordingly. Don’t simply replace “like for like”, but rather focus on both current needs as well as your future strategic direction you are planning to take.

Each member of your team has a role to play and is critically important to the overall success as a unit. A bad hire could derail the rest of your operations and even set your progress back, so don’t take staffing lightly.

Control and own your life

Life! You only have one and it is yours to live, so please take ownership and control of it. The overwhelming majority of your life is (or should be) within your control and as such let’s drop excuses, finger-pointing and blame.

Be cognizant, mindful and aware of the feelings and needs of your family, friends, coworkers and others, but ultimately, it is your life and you will need to make decisions and take actions which YOU believe are the best. Audit your life, then plan the steps necessary to achieve those goals, and most importantly, act!

Refuse to be ignored

Say it with me: “I refuse to be ignored!” Your future is in your hands so please take necessary actions to ensure your success. You need to be proactive and step out of your comfort zone in order to be noticed and achieve greatness you deserve. At times, these actions might include volunteering to new projects, taking on new challenges, providing new solutions and ideas and even going to a different organization as you advance in your career.

The point is, it is up to YOU, what happens to YOUR career. Own your actions and plan your moves strategically.

It’s about the team, not you

Team must always be valued ahead of narrowly focused individual needs. Whenever possible, help people accomplish their goals even if they are not directly related to your responsibilities. Collaborate, communicate and be a team player. No one likes self-centered individuals who hide information or knowledge and don’t work well with others.