Success Rule #10 – Have Rules

Yesterday a friend, being facetious, suggested one of our rules should be to have rules. Although it’s wasn’t what I had planned, Kathleen is very much on track. Do you have “rules” in which you live by and are known for? What are your CORE VALUES? Think along the lines of Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent. Or Duty, Honor, Country, and of course there are the Ten Commandments. Each of these are a set of “Rules” in which individuals choose to live by, whether it be a member of the Boy Scouts, United Military Academy at West Point, or of the Christian faith. Perhaps the organization you work for has a set of core values in which they desire employees to live by.

As I travel the country speaking to audiences, I ask if they have organizational core values. If they do most are able to acknowledge they have them. When I ask what they are, sadly I get the “deer in the headlights” look, and, “I didn’t say I knew them”. Yet we expect the person working next to us to live by them. Be extraordinary, have a personal set of core values, “Rules”, to live by – and know what they are, what they mean to you, and why they are important. Here are five more to consider. I call them the P.O.W.E.R. to succeed.

PROACTIVE – Successful individuals plan, prepare and prevent (see Rule # 9), they are proactive. Proactive individuals not only have S.M.A.R.T. goals but they are visionaries as well. Do you have a vision?

OPEN-MINDED – This is probably one of the most difficult rules to follow – and perhaps understand. It’s about having convictions and standing for something, yet being receptive to listening to other points of view. Are you strong enough? Being open-minded is about not being afraid to be wrong. Not being afraid of confrontation or conflict. Don’t be afraid – be open-minded, maybe someone else’s idea IS better than yours.

WISDOM – As you probably already know wisdom comes from experience. Experience is about doing different things as well as doing things different. As a result successful people take risks, as a result of those risks, they also make mistakes. We are all going to make mistakes, learn from them, grow from them, share them with others, and learn from the mistakes of others. The average batting average of a Baseball hall of famer is around .359. That means that some of you best hitters didn’t get on base 6 out of 10 times at bat. They failed 60% of the time.

ENTHUSIASTIC – If you’re not excited about what you do, what the heck makes you think anyone else will be excited with what you do, whether it’s your supervisor who is evaluating you or the employee/coworker who is helping you. Last week I stayed at the Homewood Suites in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Let me tell you those folks are enthusiastic. As I walked down the hall I caught a gentleman doing some maintenance – whistling a cheerful ditty. When I walked into the lobby the desk clerk, smiled, greeted me with a cheerful, “Good Morning” . . . while I was still 30 feet away. As I watched the house cleaning staff leave their morning Homewood Huddle (it’s where the general manger Cheryl Prentiss meets with the entire staff and shares her enthusiasm) and walk toward their rooms they had, yes – pep in their step.

RESPONSIBILITY – See Success Rule #4

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Patricia Paul

Add–Be Known for your Integrity. From my experience, people do remember that special trait in their associates and value the characteristic in others. When I began interviewing for my first job out of college, I was asked about my traits and I was like “a deer in headlights” trying to name the things that I thought were true about me that fit the question. I will never forget that the gentleman interviewing me guided me to consider adding “integrity” to that list. It was good advice and has served me well.