A friend of mine just wrote a book. I talked to John many times throughout his career. Here’s three good gleanings from my reading in his new book that I thought you would enjoy. Shared with permission.
How do you project yourself? Do you stand up straight, look people in the eye and smile when you greet them? Or are you slumped over, tired and frowning or no expression due to your fatigue? I joined a start-up division of a large company that grew from zero to $300 million in annualized sales within three years.
We were all exhausted from the efforts to maintain the high growth momentum, so I was probably slumped over and frowning when the Director of HR had a talk with me. He commented on the fact that I just said “ok” in a low voice when anyone passed me in the hall and said, “Hi John! How’s it going?”
He used a baseball umpire as an example. If an umpire said “Strike” in a low unassuming voice, it would be unconvincing and likely to be contested. That’s why umpires call a forceful strike and pound their fist through the air. It shows that they are confident about the strike they called.
He suggested that when someone says Hi to me and asks how I am doing, that I respond with an energetic “Great!” That little talk helped change my life and the impression I was giving to my company about how I felt and how I was approaching the tasks of the day.
Your predictably consistent commitment to integrity should show through in your attitude. If you are treating people with respect, communicating clearly, sincerely listening to other perspectives, meeting your commitments and doing the right thing, you should recognize your own commitment and energize yourself with that feeling of confidence. Then you can start each day with a smile and a burst of energy that puts spring in your step and energy in your activities. Your attitude will be noticed and is a key ingredient for becoming a candidate to be hired or promoted…
Liking what you do will help you stay with your career and give you the energy you need to pursue the experience and education to continue to progress, getting better and better at your chosen career. Employers consider the amount of time spent in a company gaining experience is a type of integrity and can be called loyalty. Liking your career gives you staying power. You need to give yourself enough time on the job to learn all aspects of the job. You will reach the point where you can train another person to do what you do and be able to provide valuable input or “tips” on how to make the process smooth, efficient and accurate. The best way to advance in your career is to commit to maintaining high performance in your current job, so you will be recommended internally for a higher-level position. You are much more likely to have high performance and be eager to learn more, if you like what you are doing. If you don’t like what you are doing, you may become a “job-hopper”. A job-hopper changes jobs often to find a job they like or that pays more. Many short stays on a resume is a red flag to employers looking for someone to be productive and make contributions for years after they are trained on the job.
Another important factor in staying with the same company is. …
The best situation is to know your work well enough to provide good estimates for a project completion. You should know what daily events can slow you down, so don’t make commitments to complete a project in two hours when it will take you at least two hours of solid efforts with no interruptions and no mistakes to get it done. Allow time for the unavoidable, so your commitments will be achievable in most cases.
Establish a reputation for delivering results and beating expectations. You will find that the higher you go in management; the greater percentage of your compensation is performance based. You may have heard of some CEOs that have only requested a salary of $1 per year. They want to be paid for moving the company ahead and sharing in the positive results with stock and/or cash bonuses. Whether you currently have a performance bonus plan or not, you should be measuring the progress of your department, area or specialty. What you can measure, you can manage. Make sure you understand what you are measuring and why it is important. You will then understand why consistently improving results is so important to the company.
Hope you enjoyed the highlights.
Talk to you soon,
The book is: Keep It Going
By John Arthur.