Good things eventually happen to everyone, so does bad. Success or failure is not determined by the “things” or circumstances nearly as much as the reaction you have to them. Some of the greatest success in my life was first introduced to me as a “bad thing”.
In fact I believe what is usually considered a negative event can ultimately be flipped to a grand positive if the right reaction is taken. However, the problem is most people’s short term reactions seriously limit the long term positive opportunity. When improper actions from others are confronted with a professional reaction it usually provides the greatest catalyst for positive change. Its easy to talk about but rarely easy to do, especially over an extended career. Building the discipline of wise principled REACTIONS requires a regular series of life tests that can prove your competency.
If someone intends to advance, they must first intend to be professional. Nobody becomes professional over night… NOBODY! Even extremely talented athletes need a time to solidify their muscle memory. Character and professional behavior is no different.
Vince Lombardi said “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”
Practice is not just the “tough times”. Its the great REACTIONS to each tough times that is the “perfect practice”.
Make every crisis count for your life’s resume. Predetermine a great response to all your tough times. Here are some helps or suggestions when you are confronted with a tough situation:
1. Wait for all the information to get in before reacting. Usually by the time all the information is in, the best reaction is clear. Jumping ahead to assumptions is usually what brings the worst reactions.
2. The more emotion is involved, the longer the wait time to respond.
3. Don’t over react,
4. Don’t make it personal,
5. Step back, take a slower look at the situation. Ask yourself “How can I best display my values in this situation?”
6. The bigger the “situation” is, the more advice you should seek out. The important thing is, get wise counsel… not just council. For every one wise council you find, there will be nine not-so-wise councilors. Start developing relationships with people who are wise, so when you need strong advice you don’t have to introduce yourself.
7. Take responsibility for mistakes! Own them like you own your skin. Passing blame is not professional. Making it right, may cost a lot but is almost always worth the investment. If not to your customers, then to yourself… to prove to yourself you are a man or woman of character. It is one of the most highly valued gifts to your own self esteem.
8. Don’t think short term, think long term. The longer ahead you consider the consequences, the better the immediate reaction usually is. Ask yourself “Will my reaction demonstrate the best long term example of who I want to be?”
Becoming professional takes years, sometimes decades of testing events. Patience is paramount. Remember, it sometimes only takes one event to obliterate a decade of investment.
Advancing personally and in a career requires that those above see qualities worth investing into. Personally, I’d rather hire an ignorant person with good character than a talented person without. Ignorance can be cured, arrogance usually not.
Every situation that arises make the best investment of all, in your character!