This article mirrors some of my own thoughts on what constitutes the difference between success and failure in the workplace. From the article, the seven rules in a nutshell are:
- Winners do things losers won’t do.
- Winners fail more often than losers.
- Winners are optimistic while losers are pessimistic.
- Winners know what they’re trying to do while losers go with the flow.
- Winners take responsibility for their own lives while losers point the finger elsewhere.
- Winners work harder than losers.
- Winners ask. Losers wait to be asked.
By all means read the whole article for an explanation of these seven principles. If I were asked to add one, I would add “Winners don’t expect anyone to hand them anything. If they want something they work for it.” Also, a sense of purpose is vital – knowing where you are, where you want to be, and how you’re going to get there.
My own rules for success in the workplace are a tad more simple, but they’ve worked for me: Show up a little earlier than the next guy, work a little harder than the next guy, and never pass up a chance to learn something new.
I’ve known and worked for a few self-made millionaires. The key commonality I know of among them is that they work long hours, in some cases as many as seventy or eighty hours a week. I’m nowhere near a millionaire myself, but I’m a reasonably successful independent businessman who has gotten along for a few years now without a traditional J.O.B., and I’m no stranger to seventy-hour weeks myself. As Thomas Edison famously said, “Many people don’t recognize opportunity when it knocks, because it usually shows up in overalls and looks like work.”
Of course there’s an element of planning involved. A kid who goes to college and graduates with a degree in Minority Basketweaving Studies is handicapping him/herself to an unbelievable degree. A degree in software engineering might be worth $80-90k a year the moment the kid graduates.
Maybe it’s too much to expect common sense from some people.
In other news, I’m returning to Birmingham early Monday for two weeks, where I will be embroiled in a project about which I can not reveal any details for reasons that should be obvious. But my initial impressions of Birmingham are positive; an old Iowa farm boy like me fits in pretty well in environs like these. Birmingham is a small enough city to have a small-town feel, the climate is salubrious (at least this time of year) and the people are friendly. The hotel I’m using is within about a ten-minute walk of the client, making a brisk but brief morning and evening constitutional not only possible but practical. Best of all, since I’m going to be there over a weekend, one of the honchos in the organization has offered to take me bass fishing. I’ve spent time pursuing trout, salmon and halibut over the last few decades, but I think it’s been close to thirty years since I did any warm-water fishing. If the opportunity comes about I’ll grab it.
On other projects I’ve had the time to get to know an area pretty well; most of last summer in America’s own little Caribbean paradise left me very familiar with the island and the folks there, not to mention six months in Kusatsu, Japan and a year and a half in the Santa Clarita valley. That’s one of the benefits of a career that has you on the road a lot. This project will be brief – the next two weeks should close out my end of it. I would have liked the chance to get to know Alabama a little better.
Happy Saturday, True Believers! More as events warrant.