5 Things I’ve Learned

Step lightlyI’m currently in my 10th year with Access Development. Over the past decade I’ve worked with many great people and formed lifelong friendships. I’m grateful for people who have taken time to teach me through their example and actions.

So for my first post of 2014 I’ve decided to pass along a few of the lessons I’ve learned from others:

Step Lightly – Early in my carrier my strategy, metaphorically speaking, revolved around carrying a large stick and clearing anyone out of my path or going into every meeting with ‘guns a blazing’. It worked wonders and things got done. Or so I believed. The latent affect was I got a poor reputation for being overly emotional and even selfish. Even worst, others became defensive in my presence and sometimes people’s feelings were hurt due to my brash style. One day my manager, a friend and a leader, came into my office and placed a small yellow sticky note next to my computer monitor. It read “step lightly”. I’ve worked on stepping lightly ever since… and it actually works.  

Over-Communicate – It’s better than under-communicating.  Over communicating clears up confusion and doubts, and minimizes misunderstandings. Where possible, face-to-face communication works best. Over-communicating creates transparency, unity and collaboration.

Show Purpose (and Grab a Piece of Paper) – Ever notice how some people walk around the office with no apparent purpose, even appearing lost. One colleague of mine mentioned how she never wants people to think that of her. When she walks down the hall, she walks with purpose. Even if she’s just going to the water cooler she walks with purpose. And if she walks to a meeting (or to the bathroom) she always has something in her hands… anything. It shows she has purpose. If nothing else, she grabs a sheet of scrap paper off the printer because it’s better than walking around empty handed.

Try it! Look like you have a purpose and act important, and people will treat you that way.

Play the Game – It’s something several leaders have taught me and I’ve been slow to embrace. Often this term is viewed with a negative connotation. Playing the Game isn’t about sucking up or being false in an attempt to fit in. Every business has a unique culture. Every division, team or project has a unique style and personality. Play the Game means learning to personally adapt to the company’s culture and personality. By doing so you’ll be a great shipmate. You can even rock the boat now and again, but you’ll never be accused on sinking the ship.  

Be a great shipmate. You can even rock the boat now and again, but you’ll never be accused on sinking the ship.

Be Positive – Things sometime go wrong in business. Things often go wrong. People let you down. Technology causes more issues than solutions. Allowing external forces to cause continuous internal frustrations is non-productive and honestly unhealthy. Being positive isn’t about what’s going on around you; it’s about deciding the state of well being inside you. Being positive can be infectious. Many challenging times were made better (and sometimes bearable) thanks for continually positive people.   

What have you learned from others at your company?

A big thanks goes out to Shaggy, Trav, Jaymee, Bona and KP for the things I’ve learned from them; as well as countless others.

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