Being professional and energetic pays off.If you have chosen to be a manager, then you have chosen to be a professional leader. If you truly want to be considered a professional, then you have to work at it every single day. You not only have to create the right habits, you also need to work on getting better and better every day in the areas of technical competence, management competence, technology competence, and last—but not least and perhaps most important—leadership competence.
I ask you to ask yourself one question every morning: “What should I work on today that will not pay off until 5, 10, 15, 20, or 30 or even 40 years from now?”
When you start to “think” each morning and act, you will start to build a future for yourself in the many areas of your life that will make you happy in the future, instead of living a future filled with regret.
I often write about this concept to hopefully get people to realize that their future is in their hands.
Once you accept this simple idea, you will then be on the way to improving your life.
You can either do this . . . or you can sit back and blame your Mother, the Company, your Father, the weather, your race, your religion, your sexual orientation, your culture, your school teachers, the government, your leaders, or a whole list of other people and institutions . . . or you can decide what exactly you want to do and then get with it. Your goal may take you 5 or 10 years to achieve or it may just take some new habits that people will notice, such as being positive.
I know one thing for sure and that is: when you know what you are trying to do, then it is a lot easier to get it done.
My analogy is this: When you have children, what are you trying to do?
You are trying to raise children who have high self-esteem, good self-confidence, are honest, have high values, have integrity, can read well . . . and leave home when they are 18, or at the latest when they graduate from college, and be able to be good, independent citizens who can support themselves and contribute to society.
When you know what you are trying to do, then you will know how to raise your children . . . including the way that you educate them, discipline them, develop them, and spend time with them.
It is the same in your career. You need to know what you are trying to do.
I was always trying to do one thing in my leadership positions, and that was to create a healthy, respectful, inclusive environment where all of my fellow team members woke up in the morning and were happy to come to work . . . to a place where they felt that their role in the show was important . . . and where they were treated respectfully . . . and were not just interested in coming to work for the paycheck, but committed . . . and doing whatever it took to make sure that every single customer had a great experience.
Knowing what I am trying to do guides how I spend my time and what I work on! . . . Lee