First things first…

“It’s been a long time since I left you, without dope beat to step to…”

“I Know You Got Soul,” Erik B. & Rakim

My little way of saying, I know, and I’m back! I love writing, and even in writing about what I do professionally; I take it seriously and personally. So when lots of things converge in my life, good and bad, which is what happened, it affects my writing and my urge to do it.

So having crossed some things off the life list, I am ready to get back in the saddle and hopefully won’t be away for so long…

Having said that…Leggo!

I read this article on NYTimes.com, Distilling the Wisdom of C.E.O.’s, an article based on Adam Bryant’s book, “The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed,” and got inspired. Not so much to become a CEO – I can easily say that isn’t in my “five plan” – but to develop the attributes listed in the piece to become a better employee today and one day a better leader. I think a lot is changing in the business world, and for the better, but there are a lot of bad habits still floating around that are being taught by those who should know better and embraced by those who don’t.

So here is what I am planning my present and future career on, and what I’ll be reading more in-depth on soon!

Best Practices from the Best in Business

1. A Passionate Curiosity: Learning, questioning, pondering, researching, doesn’t stop for these folks once they get into the big comfy leather chair specially ordered for them. So many times we see people getting promoted and their quest to get better and learn more just STOPS. They don’t seek to learn more not just about their industry, but the world around them as a whole. I vow to not let my brain ever turn to mush as a result of a JOB TITLE.

2. Battle-Hardened Confidence: Who do you want solving problems for you? It’s not the person who has never won or LOST a battle at work, or had anything bad happen to them, whether it is being fired by a client, laid off from a job, had a media interview go awry or some other catastrophe they bounced back from. There is a difference between those with battle scars and those that are damaged. Damaged folks don’t learn from the challenges presented to them; those with battle scars have faced adversity and know how to heal, learn from it and turn it into a new opportunity.

3. Team Smarts: I can’t do what I do alone. I can’t. I need to learn how to work with others, have an understanding of what they do, what challenges they face and what their day-to-day looks like. There is nothing worse than mindlessly pushing paper in your office and when asked to work with others, you are completely oblivious to what they need and how to get what you need from them. Don’t you hate working with folks like that? I do.

4. A Simple Mind-Set: The book describes this as “mental jujitsu.” I need to learn this concept, particularly in my industry. A lot of people just don’t get public relations, marketing, integrated communications or why any of it is necessary. Discussing strategies and initiatives simply can go a long way in helping folks understand – and getting them to say YES!

5. Fearlessness: This is calculated, informed risk-taking – not running off willy-nilly on some project. I think I have some of this, but probably not enough to do something really big and wonderful. I think growing my confidence will help the wonderful thing I do come about.

If you have read “The Corner Office,” please post below how it has inspired your work or changed how you viewed and managed your career. Thanks!