Remember that first day at work after college, when you eventually got up the courage to go forage for a cup of coffee? You found the coffee machine, and there stuck on the wall was a handwritten sign reading:
YOUR MOTHER DOESN’T WORK HERE
PICK UP AFTER YOURSELF
You thought to yourself, “Pick up after myself? Gee, I gotta learn a whole new way of behaving,” and so you start to observe the defining behaviors of the most successful professionals around you, developing the behaviors, skills and values that common sense shouts will help you succeed in your career.
There is an acknowledged slate of these transferable skills, learned behaviors and professional values (call them what you will) that are integral to success in every job, at every level, in every profession anywhere in the world. They include:
Technical. You are a life long student of the technical skills required, and in demand, for your job. Without the essential skills of your profession, you have nothing to brand.
Communication. All the ways you send and receive messages (see Win Or Lose, You Choose)
Critical Thinking. Your ability to identify, prevent and solve the problems inherent in your work.
Time Management & Organization. Some people are task oriented, some goal oriented, the latter get ahead.
Motivation. You make a difference with your presence, you are always part of the solution, you don’t sit on the sidelines waiting for others to step up.
Integrity. You always do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
Determination. You honor the responsibilities and deliverables inherent in your job. You don’t back off with the rest when the poop hits the paddle wheel, you step up.
Systems & Procedures. You respect and play by the rules because they are there for valid reasons. If you don’t understand the reasoning, you find out.
Productivity. You meet all the deliverables of your job. These transferable skills, behaviors, values, combine to define you as the one of the few who really get things done, and done the right way.
Creativity. You harness your ever-expanding professional frame of reference to your natural ingenuity for fresh perspectives.
Teamwork. Before you lead others, you must make decisions for yourself and your activities that are in harmony with the greater good of the team. Integrate the 11 other skills/behaviors and by becoming a consummate team player you will be acknowledged as a natural leader.
Leadership. The first and last responsibility of a leader, and especially a leader as manager, is to help the team function, but “we” always gets the credit. You have to be a team player before you can hope to build the loyalty and trust necessary for high performance. Then once anointed into management, you must deliver for two teams: your reports and the management team to which you now belong.
To Do List For Success:
2. Become today what you dream of being tomorrow. Make each one a conscious part of who you are and how you behave.
3. Skill development starts with an awareness of the need. If you need to work on a skill, and we all do, then watch, listen and learn. Good and bad lessons surround you everyday and you can learn from both.
4. That you reflect these values in your work will almost immediately start to set you apart from the herd.
These are the building blocks of success, adopt them and you will become known and respected as a consummate professional; which is another way of saying that you have successfully established a valid professional brand.
Martin Yate (CPC) is the author of Knock em Dead The Ultimate Job Search Guide, a NY Times bestseller updated annually for 24 years. He’s been in career management for 34 years: Silicon Valley Headhunter and VP with the seminal and feared Executek, Director of HR for Bell Industries Computer Memory Division, Director of Training and Development for Dunhill . Martin believes that change is your future, branding is critical, but no one has ever taught you how to navigate this stuff.