Archive for the ‘Success’ Category
Me, quoted in Failure is not Fatal: 5 Inspiring Perspectives:
Every failure has fueled my successes because I’m the type of person who learns from trial-and-error. The key to that way of learning is by intentionally observing what isn’t working, and correcting for it the next time around.
At Cheezburger, this has manifested itself in large and small ways. A small example would be that once we had a project go off in the wrong direction because we didn’t get clear strategic buy-in before we started, so now we always do a strategy review before we begin.
- Follow through. Do what you say and consistently deliver on your commitments.
- Proactively communicate when a task takes you longer than you thought, and why.
- Improve your communication skills. In order for others to hear you, sometimes you have to hone the way you deliver your message.
- Volunteer information and make an effort to explain vague or hard to understand ideas and concepts. Make an effort to share the details of your decisions and diversions. This is also important when you make mistakes – letting others know before they figure out on their own will show ownership of the situation and can prevent misunderstandings later.
- Be forthright and authentic with your feelings. Even when you may hold a contrary opinion communicate your thoughts (respectfully and with tact).
- Don’t talk behind the backs of others. It is very difficult to build trust if someone knows that you will say something negative about your boss, the company leadership, or another coworker.
- Be objective and neutral in difficult situations. Learn how to be calm under pressure and act as a diplomat resolving conflicts instead of causing them.
- Show consistency in your behavior. Not just in follow through but by eliminating any double standards that may exist.
- Learn to trust them. This is one of the hardest ones, but trust is a two-way street. Giving others the benefit of the doubt and learning how to work with them is essential to a strong mutual working relationship.
Over the years I have worked with a lot of amazing people. I have also worked with a lot of not-so-amazing individuals. One of the things that have consistently separated the good from the great has been one’s capacity to work as part of a team. You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your coworkers, so learning how to work really well with others (even those you don’t agree) can make a huge difference to the culture and company.
In fact, learning to work well with others can make the difference in achieving wild success in corporations and industry.
I have a theory I’m calling the 2nd order, and goes like this. If I own a computer store, I don’t market computers, I market service you get after buying one. If I have a site about taxes, I market what you can do with the return $. If I have a problem I do a search for how to solve x. But when I land on a site, I’m not looking for x, I’m actually seeing if I might get y and z.
When I took karate as a kid, I didn’t aim to hit the front of the bag, I aimed to hit the back and when the front stopped my path it was met with a lot of force.
I read a New York Times article today on the qualities of people who rise to the top. The author interviewed 70 executives and summarized their input into five core qualities. I wonder if the author is correct or not.
- Passionate Curiosity – do you want to understand everything?
- Battle-Hardened Confidence – have you developed confidence through adversity?
- Team Smarts – do you value teamwork?
- A Simple Mind-Set – can you make a point succinctly?
- Fearlessness – how do you handle being outside of your comfort zone?
As people who read my blog regularly know, I really connect strongly with #3, Team Smarts. Like the CEO interviewed in the article, I have come to value teamwork over the last several years more than pure talent.
Take a team of people and give them a project. Oh, I don’t know…any project…digging a ditch, building a web site, whatever. Then, take another team with the same number of people and give them the exact same project.
Of course, these teams aren’t going to be exactly the same. So, imagine you had a way to add up the intelligence of all the members of each team. Since not everyone is identical it follows that one team is going to be smarter than the other.
Now, the conventional wisdom is that the smarter team is the one that will do a better job on the project, yield better results and have more success. But, in fact, that isn’t true.
Second, it lets people win instantly.
Which leads me to one of the many sayings I have for for success: Read the rest of this entry »
This evening I was reading Thomas Friedman’s weekly column in the New York Times. Friedman typically covers foreign policy and America’s place in the world, and tonight was no exception: he wrote about why Newsweek ranked the United States the 11th best country in the world.
That ranking isn’t something that a lot of people are talking about, but Friedman isn’t afraid to raise the subject. From the sound of his column, his view is that we’re doomed if we don’t address these issues directly. What really piqued my attention was his conclusion:
China and India have been catching up to America not only via cheap labor and currencies….but, most importantly, [with] values like our Greatest Generation had. That is, a willingness to postpone gratification, invest for the future, work harder than the next guy and hold their kids to the highest expectations.
At about 10pm each night I catch a second wind which lasts until about 1am. This is a blessing and a curse. If there’s some work I want to get done, or if I want to stay up later to enjoy the evening, then it’s a blessing. If I want to go to bed at 10:20pm it’s a curse.
With that in mind, some new research indicates that “morning people” have more success, generally, than night owls.
“[Morning people] tend to get better grades in school, which gets them into better colleges, which then leads to better job opportunities. Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them. They’re proactive.” (Not that evening people are life’s losers: They’re smarter and more creative, and have a better sense of humor, other studies have shown.)