11 Important Things

I have been holding on to a list of statements about business (and life) that keep near me at all times. It is a reminder to me of what I should be thinking about when working with clients, customers and colleagues. I don’t remember where I took this list from, as it is probably an amalgamation of some articles or posts that I have read along my own journey of being who I am. I thought I would share them as I know and believe that they contain some very good advice.

  1. (Be the) Champion of what’s next. Right off the start, I love this statement. It constantly reminds me to never be complacent, no matter how good things are going. Being the one who steps up and takes on the tasks that explore the unknown and create the potential of the next big step for your business, your team and even your life.
  1. (Along with #1, Be the) Instigator for newness. Sometimes opportunities are handed to us to own and develop based on others research or needs. Take the time to instigate and create something new with your own research, ideas and insight.
  1. (Maintain) The resilience and ability to be nimble. Too often we start down a path and get so deep we cannot see the need to alter our course and become stalwart in our efforts. Success is defined by many different characteristics and the one’s who can adapt to changing needs are the one’s who survive the longest.
  1. Orient for tomorrow and keep today alive. In any situation there are opposing forces that determine how we act and react. These opposing forces usually are made up with what we need to do to survive today and what we need to do in order to exist in the future. Ensure that you are doing both, with equal passion and vigor. Give yourself mind-space to work, at separate times, on creating success for both.
  1. Tell a story before you sell a story. Never try to sell others on your ideas without first giving the impassioned plea. The mistake we make is emphasizing on the selling aspect of why our ideas are so great. Instead, tell the story that creates a vision for the listener. Tap into their emotions so that they can connect with you and the topic. If done this way, you will never have to sell another idea again.
  1. (Use your) Experience and passion. Each of us has a repository of skills; knowledge and behaviors that has helped us get to our current state. With that comes a passionate approach to what we love to do in our everyday work and personal lives. Use this to your advantage. Tap into what you know you are great at and love to do to help others achieve and succeed.
  1. Rapidly innovate and prototype—Try and Fail, often. No one truly gets ahead by playing it safe. If our ideas are mere adjustments to what is being done today, the results will be mere adjustments. However, if we aim to create newness, in any part of our lives, we need to take giant steps away from what we are doing today. You cannot expect different results, doing the same thing over and over.
  1. (Along with #7) Make heroes out of failures. When we win, we tend to celebrate and move on. When we fail, we tend to blame and beleaguer, analyze and forget. The most important thing that can come out of a “failure” is that we take time to analyze and learn. Even in the biggest of failures, there is the ability to find out what worked and what pieces can be gleaned and used to your benefit. Never shrug off a failure, celebrate the effort and the attempt. Create momentum from an idea that missed mark.
  1. Creativity and Problem Solving need a process. Don’t get fooled by having smart people around you. Even the smartest get stuck when faced with a problem that seems unsolvable. Give yourself the ability to get to break through by adopting a process that you can replicate over and over that will provide new thinking towards your problems and the solutions that are presented.
  1. Redesign your business and get closer to the customer. The best way to get ahead in the world is to truly understand your customer, consumer, buyer and end user. I am a firm believer that over 75% of the people in your company should interact with your marketplace on a regular basis. This is the only way to completely have a handle on what your customers need, want or believe. You need to constantly be connected, in some way, with the people who are going to turn your work into revenue. This goes for both internal and external customers.
  1. Everybody wants change, and if that is your job, you’re not welcome here. If you want change, it is usually about someone else, not you. Finding the root cause of what the opportunity is is your first step to isolating the exact spot of the issue of someone else’s need. Don’t ever make the change about a person or people. I try to find and zero in on making a change with the business processes that impact the people and let them help create the change. Change Agents are seen as irritants. To ensure that you can make the change that is being asked for, make it part of the every day structure of your work, not a special event. Change takes time.
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