Strategies of Successful People
Throughout the course of my career, I’ve been lucky enough to spend a good deal of time with incredibly successful people. I’ve taken every opportunity to learn from them. Below are a few of the top strategies I’ve seen them employ. Hope they are helpful to you! What are the top things you’ve learned along your career that help you to be successful?
1. Put your ego aside. Know when to take a knee – you can’t fight for everything and knowing when not to push is as valuable as knowing when to push. I’ve heard top level executives describe situations that would have made me immediately update my LinkedIn profile and start looking for a new job, but they put their short-term ego aside for the long-term picture. A few years ago, I left my current role to try a job in finance. I realized quickly that I’d made a terrible mistake, but my ego was too big to admit it. After months of suffering, I finally called it quits and returned to the same position I had left before. Was it hard? Yes. Am I happy I put my ego aside to do what I enjoy? Absolutely.
2. Respond quickly. Don’t procrastinate on responses – some of the most high-level people I know respond the fastest. It is truly impressive…and shows me that I have no excuse. Nike had it right with their tagline “just do it.” Really – just respond even if it’s to let people know you will respond more fully later. I’ve found that the shorter the lag-time between responses, the shorter your response can be and still feel thoughtful!
3. Write it down. Keep track of your accomplishments and review them regularly so you can reference them as appropriate. Don’t expect others to remember what you have done, even if you think that your accomplishments should speak for themselves. They should…but memories are weak resources. I’ve found it incredibly useful to keep a word-doc running with my top accomplishments – makes review time that much easier as well!
4. Ask questions. Don’t assume others know more than you. Ask questions. Many of the most powerful people I know are in industries they weren’t originally “experts” in – they got where they are by being curious and asking when things didn’t make sense. I watch them apply this habit across areas – they don’t understand things that I don’t understand, and when they ask questions, it makes me respect them more. The courage to understand what you don’t…then you understand and you can make informed decisions. Simple, brilliant. : )
Photos by the incredible David Kim. His particular specialty is wedding photography, so if you are getting married or know someone who is, he’s your guy!