One thing I have learnt from being at the coalface for over 30 years (yes really), is you can’t afford to stand still. Too many people allow their triumphs of yesterday to predict tomorrow’s behaviour.
Of course, if things appear to be going reasonably well, it’s hard to want to break the mould. In a way, it goes against our custom, which is to find a settled way of living.
But, whether you like it or not, work is your life, and you have no choice but to strive every day to get better. That doesn’t just mean (any more) doing the work. It means embarking on a process – over the long haul – of reinvention: Breaking the mould, rebuilding it and starting all over again.
Your life is made of many facets:
Don’t let any get aspect get out of whack. It might be the biggest cliche in the book, but adopting a centred, well-rounded outlook is critical. The moment you allow one to dominate the rest, you are in trouble. Big trouble.
If you value your legacy, then being the best should be a daily quest. This doesn’t mean being egotistical, but refining your offering and mastering every facet of your specialism.
Who is the guru in your sector?
How do you measure up?
If you are not sure, go check them out on LinkedIn. It is a treasure trove of intelligence.
What about the quality of your work?
Does it give you any bragging rights? I don’t mean the type of chest-thumping nonsense, but the memorable projects you have been involved in that demonstrate who you are and what you stand for.
What about your USP?
Can someone else define it for you? Far better that than you try to cast yourself as the expert. I like the idea (a Seth Godin riff) of working out in 8 words or less your remarkable point of view (RPOV8).
What about your networking prowess?
Not the sort of random, sterile, fee based nonsense that seems all the rage. No, I mean your networking inside the company, firm or organisation. At the very least, you should be going to lunch at least once a week with someone within the organisation, and not the sort of snatched affair over a dead as dead sandwich.
What about your self-learning programme?
When was the last time you broke the weekly habit, and stretched yourself? It doesn’t mean doing a work based course – perhaps you like cooking or writing. It matters not as long as you are doing something that is forcing you to think about who you really are and what motivates you. I remember meeting a very successful CEO in the 1980s who said that he got the most pleasure from doing manual work – thatching, dry stone walling and carpentry. He said it kept him grounded and made him a better human being.
Frankly, the list is endless.
You might ask what’s the point?
As in what’s the point of being challenged, mixing it up and benchmarking your rise, success and brand equity every year?
Who the bloody hell knows.
All I know is that if you aren’t growing you’re slowly dying.
I have extolled for a long time that you life is what you make it and you have a matchless opportunity every day to make a difference. Hardly original, but most people end up blaming everyone or everything else for their lack of progress. In reality the only thing you can control is how you think. Are you monitoring it and attempting to fight back the negative voice that deflects you from doing your best stuff?
At some stage you have to make a stand.
Draw a line.
And say enough.
Breaking the cycle is difficult but it begins now with doing something different – not monumentally so, but just enough to give you a hair’s breath of confidence to know you can break a cycle of inactivity that has held you back.
To have the best brand you persona is not going to be gifted to you. You have to go through the pain of change to make it happen.
What are you waiting for?
Brand you is not just a pretty slogan. It means something or at least it should.
Working with me:
I am available for speaking, consulting and one on one coaching. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on 075888 15384.