Earlier this year I wrote a paper on Ideas & Advice entitled Earning That Promotion! I received terrific, helpful feedback. One reader, a recent Master's degree graduate, commented, "Every school should provide this information to its students." When I questioned him about it, he gave it some thought and concluded that he felt that faculty and curriculum are teaching how to be a high level executive, but not necessarily how to become a high level executive, i.e., how to get there.
By coincidence, I received another piece of feedback the very next day from another Master's program graduate who also said he benefited greatly from reading the paper. I thanked him, mentioned what I had been told just the day before, and he replied, "Not only should every school be teaching this, but every company should be telling its employees these principles."
I have thought about his exact point – that every company should be encouraging their employees to follow these principles about being successful in a corporate environment. Just to be sure, I asked a few business leaders to read my posting and provide their opinions. All agreed: these are important messages from which their employees, their leaders, and their companies would greatly benefit!
Below are the principles; they are in no particular order; they are all important.
- Take initiative
- Be upfront and honest
- Clients come first, they are our priority
- Ask what each client expects, needs and wants and try to deliver to that standard
- Do not over-promise
- Our colleagues are internal clients
- Help colleagues do well, encourage them
- Don’t seek personal credit; people know who is doing great work
- It’s best to be promoted by our colleagues – because of all you do
- Be a source of positive energy; help inspire others
- Don’t assume; ask
- It’s okay to be vulnerable; in fact it is a sign of security and is attractive
- Listen intently – to what is said and not said, and be alert and sensitive to feelings
- Contribute ideas
- If you see a problem and can fix it, do it
- If you report a problem, try to do it with ideas to resolve it
- Strive for continuous improvement and encourage others
- Carry yourself with quiet confidence
- If you have a problem with your boss, ask what she or he expects, needs and wants from you. Your good work helps both of you. You may also share what you need.
- Offer timely, honest feedback to help everyone
- If you hear talk about office politics, e.g., speaking behind people’s backs, backstabbing, etc., encourage people to drop it
- Negative energy hurts everyone; positive energy leads to success
- Care genuinely about colleaguesBe early – always
- Every conversation can be important
- Be a great team member
- As teammates, look at goals as shared promises with one another
- Know what success looks like – for our work and our company's work for our clients
- Be a presence in your community
- Be aware of how we are received by others
- Be easy to work with
If these principles guide the way, company cultures will be very exciting, filled with colleagues who are hard working, loyal, highly motivated, collaborative and supportive. And at year-end, results should be just fine, likely outstanding!