Success in business is something that many people look for. The ability to do well in your job always seems to be dependent on the specific skill set required for the work as well as the political environment which you find yourself working in.
However, in reality, there is a lot more that you can do than perhaps what you would think to help you achieve success in your career. Your ability to have the right attitude with the right set of attributes is key. Your ability to read and understand people and build better relationships with others is critical. Your ability to perform how you need to and market yourself and your personal brand effectively is essential.
When you can do all of these things, you will find yourself being able to navigate a route through the many challenges of the business world. Most people try and get results by focusing entirely on their work. As the great speaker Jim Rohn would say, it’s necessary to ‘work harder on yourself than you do on your job’. That means investing time and energy into developing the core skills that you need to win.
We can start with the right attitude. The attitude or mindset that you approach any experience with is so important. The first key to this is understanding that, fundamentally, you have a remarkable ability to influence and affect your world. You can determine what experiences mean by how you choose to interpret them. This power of ‘having a say’ in how you handle problems leads to a massive improvement in how you feel about problems as well as how you deal with problems. Furthermore, focusing first on solutions when you encounter a problem, seeing failures or mistakes as learning that helps you to improve and always focusing on what you can do… can all help you to take charge of your career and make things happen.
Next, there are the interpersonal skills. This again starts with how you think. When you go into an interaction, presentation, meeting or interview, the first thing to do is to ask yourself the right questions. This determines where your mind is focused. If you ask ‘What am I there to do? How do I want them to feel? What do they want? What is important to them?’ Those kinds of questions are particularly powerful in helping you automatically perform at your best. This is because they get your mind focused on what you need to be thinking rather than questioning yourself and sowing seeds of doubt.
Understanding others involves asking questions and really listening because you want to really get an insight into what makes them tick. The more you understand others and what motivates them, the easier it is for you to be able to influence them successfully. Whether you are talking to an interview panel, your boss, a colleague or someone who reports to you… understanding how they think, what motivates them, what they want… helps you in getting their buy in and getting them to say yes. The more you ‘get’ them, the easier it is to persuade them.
Performing how you need to comes down to having the right attitude and managing your time so that you are as productive as possible. The key is to ensure that you have a good sense of what’s most important to you and a clear sense of your priorities. The more effectively you prioritise, the easier it is to know what to say Yes and No to. When you know what to say Yes and No to… you can say Yes to the most important work that makes the most difference. This also allows you to decrease stress since you are working as well as you can.
Lastly, building your own personal brand means ensuring that you become as aware as possible as to how others see you and make a concentrated effort to make sure that you come across the way you want to on a regular basis. Your understanding of others will also have a huge influence on how they see you.
These are simple skills that require massive repetition. Once you do so however, you will find yourself improving yourself so effectively that your career will reap the benefits.