PLAN. COMMUNICATE. LEAD.
Are you still reading books? If yes, then I have something useful to share with you today:)
I hope at least some of you have heard about Goodreads, an application where you can search through the huge database of the books. It welcomes you with an exciting new quote each time you login into it, allows you to browse through different genres of books, add them to your bookshelves, categorize them, rate them, read and write reviews and see what you friends are reading and recommend.
This is amazing, isn’t it? You can plan the whole year with the books you want to read if you like. The app and your “friends” give amazing insights about books which you might want to read too. If not for the app, you might never hear about such books! You can see how I am using it if you search my name in the app, maybe you will be inspired to use it too, or at least you will find some cool book titles and will want to read them.
Hope to see you among my friends in Goodreads soon!
What I am going to write today might sound a little bit like an already known fact, like nothing new or too obvious, but I will still write it. As a reminder to future self. Because thanks to that and only to that I was, I still am and I hope I will keep being able to move forward in my life, try more, do more, keep doing what I like and moving to the next higher step, leaving behind everything what is dragging me down.
You can only succeed if you care. Deeply, truly and unconditionally care about yourself, your career, your future, your development, your relationships and family.
Nothing will happen by itself. Never happened and never will. You have to take charge of what is happening to you and start finally doing something about it. Start building the new ladder. Brick by brick, 1 step back- two forward.
I would never be where I am now if I let people and situations define who I am, tell me what I should and should not do, what jobs I am able to perform and what not, if I ever let others define me and my future and my abilities.
If you care, sky is the limit. Your sky, your limit:)
Let us stop making assumptions. Assumptions about people, about their behavior, and situations. They rarely serve us well. What is more, in the majority of cases they turn out to be wrong.
When someone behaves in a certain way which we can not explain, or doesn’t perform well and forgets about certain commitments, we often tend to jump to unfavorable conclusions. And what strikes me, the majority of us don’t even bother to find out why people behave this way. Maybe something is going on in their lives? Maybe they interpreted something in their own way, or perhaps they are shy to clarify or maybe. Oh maybe this is who they are and it is time to part your way with them.
Assumptions take courage to be clarified. It shall work both ways – be brave to share what you feel and why, and be brave to conduct open conversations and find out how to improve things, how to work on the relationships, and how to turn a situation into a win-win solution.
Let’s gather facts, let’s talk to a people 1×1 and then, knowing the whole picture and verifying our assumption, then and only then let’s drive to opinions and conclusions and define the next steps.
To make Business you need 2 components: idea and execution. Your idea is worth nothing unless it is executed.
Some of us generate brilliant ideas, but they never get anywhere beyond the idea itself. Idea lives a very short life, gets forgotten and sinks into oblivion.
There are people, though, who are not very creative in generating ideas, but they are excellent executors. That is where many ideas get stolen, probably. But execution is where magic happens:)
I kept thinking today about why we need to check our priorities regularly. Not just once a month, but almost daily. It is simply impossible to say that everything is important. What sense does it make to prioritize at all?
I taught myself to start my day by thinking about the 3-5 most important things I need to focus my attention on. Whatever personal backlog I maintain, my top priorities in work on in private life are visible on the front line: a card or a note, in such a way that I always see them. I’ve built this habit to such an extent, that I do it automatically without even thinking. What is more, whenever I finish my work on that day, I close it with a clear mind – because I did what was most important on that day, the rest will wait for its priority:)
It does not mean I don’t care about other things at all. I actually do. If those “to do” are not important today, they can become super urgent tomorrow and I will keep “firefighting”. This is why it is super important to do one more thing – keep a bigger picture in mind to know why your priority is a priority and to know how long you can delay a non-priority before it transforms into the burning necessity and eat your free time:).
And you? Do you keep checking your priorities or do you do everything as long as you have power and jump into firefighting again?
I have rarely seen projects which could run smoothly if same approach was applied again and again. What worked well in one case, might not work at all in another case.
Think of a project/program as a person. If you treat each person the same way, your chances to find a common language with that person will drop significantly and you won’t be able to build a long standing relationship with them. But if you are flexible and can adjust your behavior as per the need, you chances for success will increase.
Same with projects. Use any framework for project management as a baseline and adjust it as per its needs and requirements.
Be creative, be flexible and craft your own recipe for success.
Do you have a mentor? If not yet, then it is a right time to find one.
I found out about mentoring concept during my work at IBM. There are at least 2 major reasons why you should choose your “trusted advisor”:
1. We all face challenges in project and work environment. And I am sure that all of us are creative enough to find a solution to any challenge. But it is good to have someone who is more experienced than you, in order to be able to validate your approach. What if there is a better option? What if there is already a known way to address a problem?
2. When you think about your career or a field where you want to advance, it is good to have someone who already holds this position or has experience in that area. This person could guide you in finding your way to it too.
All successful people I know have or used to have a mentor. It can be someone in the company you work, or it can be someone you admire and follow virtually on Social Media.
How to find one?
No worries, look around and if you notice someone, who you think is a person you want to learn from – go and ask if this person would like to become your mentor.
I have recently arrived to 2 conclusions.
It is important to know your strengths and keep developing them. If you focus on your weaknesses, you will spend a lot of effort trying to overcome them. What is more – think about how you will use the weaknesses? Will you still love what you do, if what you are going to do will require you to use the weaker sides of your personality?
Target your learning. Study what you feel you lack knowledge about. If you have a gap in Power BI – go and skill up to the level, which would be sufficient to cover your needs, at least. It does not make much sense to apply for studies (assuming they will take about 2-4 years), which will cover 50% of the subjects you need and 50% of some info you don’t care about at all. It is a waste of your time.
There is always a question, which pops up when we need to make any decision: “What would it take?”
There is no such thing as perfect work life balance. We all have certain capacity level. When we say “yes” to one thing, we say “no” to another. It might not be obvious immediately and seem like a small immediate sacrifice to those “Yes’s” and “No’s”, but in the long term it will unexpectedly come all at once as a boomerang.
So try to watch closely, each time you choose to say “yes” or to say “no”. Choose wisely.
I recognize only one type of failure – a failure of never giving a try. If you decided to give some option a chance and it did not go well or you figured out that it was not the right direction – this is not a failure. This is called – experience. Your experience.
We may have advisors, friends, mentors or colleagues, whom we can ask for advice. Their recommendations will be valuable, but only to certain extent. Because each of us is unique. What works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for another. And it’s OK.
Hence, the only way to find your way in life or career, is by trial and error, by correction and adjustment of the path. Which means, we need to keep trying and experimenting as many times as necessary. Until we finally figure it all out.
This is the principle I follow. This is my life compass: it is always better to try, than regret later of never giving it a chance.