Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Your success is more than your marketing

My friend and colleague, Kevin Eikenberry, has an excellent article in his current issue of Unleash Your Power. Kevin's insights are outstanding and I would recommend you subscribe to his online newsletter at http://www.kevineikenberry.com/

My best to your for your continued success
Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Speaker and Author

Unleash Your Potential
Issue 3.52 - December 26, 2006 - ISSN: 1551-6571


In Kevin's Own Words

Seven Ways to Improve Your Professional Results
by Kevin Eikenberry

While success certainly does not come from a checklist, we all can use checklists to remind ourselves of ways we can achieve more. And who doesn’t want to ‘resolve’ to achieve more, especially this time of year?

As you are looking forward and thinking about how you can make year-end 2007 even better than year-end 2006, here are seven specific tactics that address seven specific areas of our professional lives. Each of these tactics, when applied, can have a massive, positive impact on your professional happiness, satisfaction and success.

The Seven Ways

1. Create more energy in your life. The starting point for greater results is greater energy. Greater energy will allow you to be more productive and is required to apply any of the other tactics on this list. Coincidentally, energy often is cited as a major reason why people don't make positive change in their professional life as well. Three simple suggestions will get you on the path to greater energy:

eat better – consume healthier, more natural foods in smaller quantities;
exercise more – build your stamina and strength; and
sleep smarter – develop a “sleep routine” to ensure you get enough sleep to be alert and positive each day.

2. Commit to better working relationships. While we are typically hired for, or select our work based on, our technical competence, more often our success is defined by our interpersonal skills. Make the commitment to improving your working relationships. A quick reflection on your strengths and white spots in his area will reveal where you need to start. Improving your working relationships doesn't mean finding a best friend at work (although there's nothing wrong with that), but it does mean building relationships that create greater communication, connection and support.

3. Project a contagious, positive attitude. A positive attitude is contagious! (So is the alternative.) Ask yourself which attitude you want to promote in your workplace. Making the choice to be more positive, supportive and enthusiastic will make a huge difference in your productivity and will positively impact the productivity of those around you too.

4. Talk less, listen more. Nearly everyone will benefit professionally by this advice. Talking less and listening more will improve communication with customers, colleagues and everyone else. The value of this tactic cannot be overestimated.

5. Mentor someone. Make the time to help and support someone else on their professional development path. It might be someone in your department or in your organization, or someone external. In any case, you will be helping another person succeed by benefiting from your experience. At the same time, you will benefit greatly from the experience as well. The process of mentoring someone else will help you reflect on your own advice and help you reinforce those techniques and approaches within your own work as well.

6. Keep a journal. A journal is an amazing learning tool! It can be electronic, in your day planner, on a steno pad, in a dedicated book of your choice, or anywhere else you choose. Where you journal is less important than that you journal. Use your journal to jot down key ideas to refresh your memory, new ideas you want to capture, lists of the books you want to read, a list of the books you have read, a list of your goals – you get the idea. A journal is a tool for reflection and forward thinking that can become one of the most valuable development habits you'll ever create.

7. Set a big goal. Simply setting a goal would be a good tactic, but setting a big goal is a better tactic. Your goal can be related to one of the areas above, it can be about other skill development, or it could be related to a promotion. Your goal could be a financial one, or it could be something totally unrelated. Whatever it is, setting it provides you greater focus and raises your intention for success. But make it big. Stretch yourself beyond where you think you ‘should’ be to believe something big is worthy of your plans and then do it!

Reflecting on the Seven Ways

I brainstormed a list of far more than seven tactics before I pared it back to this final seven. My observation of the longer list, and of this final list, is that two themes prevail: relationships and learning.

Even if you forget my specific tactics, please remember that taking steps to build your working relationships and to be a continual learner will always result in significant and satisfying professional (and personal) development.

Here are two more observations about the seven tactics I’ve suggested – none of them have to cost any money, and all of them can be implemented right now, by making a choice to do so.

This should leave nothing in your way – there is no cost, no equipment or technology to acquire, and no specialized skills to master. The only thing these tactics require is your decision to implement them.

And there will never be a better time than right now.

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