Embrace change. Be flexible. Collaborate and build bridges. Seek knowledge. Demonstrate measurable value. Know what you want. This is the advice that I share with many of the people I mentor. Most of these skills are a natural part of my makeup and rooted in my upbringing. Others, I’ve had to learn and develop along the way.
EMBRACE CHANGE; BE FLEXIBLE. I grew up in a small two-bedroom house with six children, so life in our household was often chaotic with constantly changing dynamics just like life in many large corporations today! In today’s world, there is nothing as predictable as change. So, be ready for it, not overwhelmed by it.
COLLABORATE AND BUILD BRIDGES.As the middle child and a natural mediator, I was always building bridges between my siblings. Carrying those skills with me into adulthood has been important. The ability to influence others and build support is critical in moving your key programs forward.
SEEK KNOWLEDGE. My parents ingrained in me the love of knowledge and learning. Knowledge is what makes you valuable and what gives you substance—the way you think, the ideas you generate, the expertise you demonstrate. The more knowledgeable I am, the more value I bring to my customers, my company and my family.
DEMONSTRATE MEASURABLE VALUE.Growing up, I realized that learning and knowledge for knowledge’s sake was not enough. It was about what you achieved and accomplished with that knowledge—its “measurable value.” This is a key concept that we live with the customers we support at Xerox. We ask ourselves how we can we demonstrate that we bring them measurable value. Through Customer Executive Scorecard Reviews, we lay out metrics that tie what we committed to deliver and what we actually delivered. We call this “Delivering the Promise.”
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.Life is full of trade-offs. It’s not that you can’t have it all, but you probably can’t have it all at once. You must have your own personal definition of success. Most of us are going to work for at least 40 years. So, what’s the hurry? When you have a position that you’ve worked for and you’re good at, don’t rush off to your next promotion. Stay awhile, make a difference, and, most important, take the time to smell the roses or, in my case, the freshly cut grass on my favorite golf course.