In my book, The Power of Ownership: How to Build a Career and a Business, I share the lessons learned along the path of my 56-year business career. The purpose is not just to tell my story, but really to help readers learn from my successes and mistakes. Many lessons are rooted in my dealings with business professionals and public servants, all of whom helped to shape these lessons, and ultimately, this book.
Some lessons are way more important than others. Here are the ones I consider to be the most important.
- Be honest. Honesty will make you a better person and professional.
- Listen. When you are talking, you are not learning anything. So, listen! Listen to family, associates, clients or business partners and advisors. Once you do, you are better able to make decisions that include all their input.
- Respect everyone and everything. If you do, there will be a better chance of others respecting you. If you do not, you will not get much if any cooperation.
- It can be done. Most things can be done. Find a way. Do not give up.
- Work smarter as well as harder. We have all known people who worked 12 hours and got eight hours’ worth of work done. A smarter way is to work eight hours and get 12 hours’ worth instead. How? Prioritize. Do what is important first. By prioritizing, you will find some of the least important tasks fall off your “to-do list” before you do them.
- Teamwork. Any two of us is smarter than any one of us. Use the team you have to get more done all the time. This helps the product as well as your teammates to be better. If you must operate alone, work smarter as well as harder.
- Continue to learn. You need to be a student your entire life. Make yourself a better person each day through constant learning. You will be amazed at how this improves your efforts over time.
- Constantly learn to recreate yourself. If you are not doing this as a person or business, you will be passed by. Also, continuously recreating yourself and learning new things go hand in hand.
The book includes more detailed lists of lessons I learned, ones focused on career and business. I encourage you to read, adopt and share them when the book goes on sale this coming June on Amazon.