One of the greatest joys of my career has been sharing what I’ve learned along the way with others, especially those who are starting out in their professional lives. I’ve had the great fortune to work for organizations of many shapes and sizes. The following are a few rules I live by, which I hope will be helpful to others.
Take Risks. We are blessed to live in a society where risk taking is not something that is required to live a healthy and decent life. The risks I have taken in my career have provided the biggest returns. Whether it is taking a non-linear approach to career development, finding time to dedicate yourself to a needy civic or philanthropic cause, or simply taking the road less traveled, risks make you stronger and more valuable to your employer and to your family, communities and society.
Develop Your Skills. I don’t believe career development ever ends. There is always a new discipline, a new technology, a new language, a new way of doing business. Change is constant and those who adapt and make change work for them, are those who are more likely to succeed.
Practice Humility. Humility is a trait that benefits by practice, and one that I believe is a fundamental trait of good leadership. It is the trait which allows you to see the bigger picture, to listen to others before you offer your own opinions, to know when you don’t have the answer, and to put the welfare of your team before yourself.
Encourage Diversity. Echoing what I wrote earlier, I am blessed to have worked with a wide variety of individuals in corporate, nonprofit and government organizations throughout my career, from one end of our country to the other. This exposure to people of different backgrounds and beliefs has been invaluable to my own professional development, and I think it has made me a more competent professional. I encourage you to embrace the diversity that
makes our country and our economy great.