Diving into the business world is something that many people do at some point when they’re young and then their careers take them down a variety of paths. But there are some solid pieces of advice that can be helpful to almost any 20-something or 30-something that should make any career easier and more rewarding.
- be analytical
- learn how to write
- be a lateral thinker
- understand that people are your greatest asset
- think big
- be a lone wolf
- fight every battle
- limit yourself to just one leadership style
- forget to take time to assign
- work late every night
Metrics are important. They run the world. If you are running a business, a department, a team, or an account, figure out what’s important. Measure it. Review it periodically. You’d be surprised what you can discover. Then update the metrics you need whenever it’s necessary.
Everyone uses email or texts and often they send them without reviewing them for errors in grammar or meaning. Ideas and thoughts can be disjointed. Miscommunications run rampant. Several decades ago, writing marketing plans was critical. And bosses critiqued and ripped up many drafts. You may spend many nights rewriting plans over and over again, but that process will make you a better, more organized thinker. It will get you to separate objectives, strategies and tactics. At the end of the day, priorities will become clear so that you can follow them to great success.
Great ideas come from all sorts of sources. There are many examples of this in telecommunications, social media and medicine. (For example, you could use Blue Ocean strategies and Innovation Games to foster fresh thought patterns and new ways of seeing, feeling, and thinking.) Consider everything and eliminate the phrases “Yes, but,” and “No, but.”
Not everyone can be you. Understand your strengths and weaknesses (and those of others) and try to harness each, because everyone has something to contribute.
Success is built on visualizing what could become reality. Push your boundaries. You never know where your vision will lead you.
Though many people stress the importance of being collaborative, it’s really nothing new and has always had a strong role in corporate culture. The lone wolf might be a superstar, but even he or she gets more done and forges helpful alliances by cooperating with others. Being a team player is important for every aspect of your life, and your job is no different. Help to influence a team to do what you feel is right for the business, but also be open to other views. Ultimately, by exchanging viewpoints and different types of expertise, the entire team will benefit.
The expression, “Choose your battles,” has always been true. It has always been wise to only fight the battles that are worth fighting because people have their reasons for supporting different leaders and ideas in an organization, so figure out where you need to stand your ground for the best interests of the company. Then, be prepared to argue with both analytics and logic – instead of emotion. If you win, great. If you don’t, move on and make the best of it.
Leadership styles depend on what you’re attempting to achieve, your culture, your team, your personality and sometimes even your upbringing. Leaders need to determine how their team will tackle their tasks and what type of leader that team really needs to succeed.
Sometimes you feel it’s just best to do all of the work yourself, because it would take too much time to teach someone else how to do it. That’s fine if you’re in a one-man or one-woman shop. But if you have moderately talented people reporting to you, you need to help them to take ownership of different projects. You need to be a teacher and supervisor at the same time. That way, you all can share in collective victories.
Yes, sometimes everyone needs to work late. We’re not in a 9 to 5 society. But if you don’t at least get home at a reasonable time a few days per week, you might be bringing great value to the company, but you’re diminishing your value to your family, friends and yourself. You need to find some sort of balance in your life sooner rather than later.
Hopefully these tips are helpful to you during your journey towards a successful career. Just starting off, you have a lot to learn and can benefit from fostering a team environment to which you and your team can work together and learn from each other. Keep this advice in mind no matter which career you seek.