Don't strive for success. Does anyone really even know what success is? It is defined differently by everyone. Is success- Money, power, position, or fame? A billionaire wants one more dollar. A cancer patient wants a cure. A hungry person wants a meal. A drug addict scores a hit.---Success. Does success change? Does meeting a goal define success- If given the goal by a superior to eliminate 30 FTE positions and you do it, was that successful? Is there a success without failure? More importantly does it take failure to be successful? Success is a mere perception. Success doesn't equal rich and it doesn't equal happy.
Management is easy, leadership is difficult. Leaders can manage, but managers can't always lead. Fear and coercion will produce short term results with long-term consequences. Often there is talk but not visible action. You can't lead from behind a desk. When you are leading effectively many will doubt you and say you are crazy. Do no waiver. Title is just a plate on a wall, it does not qualify a leader. Is leadership natural or learned? Leaders are at all levels, their is no hierarchical chart that defines the leaders. Leaders take calculate risks. Leaders value and credit those working WITH them not FOR them. Leaders do things that other won't today, so they can do things that others can't tomorrow.
Never underestimate the power of hard work and sacrifice. In or to go up, you must give up something. Be careful about telling someone they are lucky because they have x,y,z. Sure maybe they were a trust fund baby, but they had to lose someone to get it (give up to go up). We often don't know what someone had to give up to achieve where they are or what they have. Also remember the achievements don't define you, it is the relationships you made and how you navigated the process to get there. Too many people want the product but not the process. They want the benefit, without the risk.
Not Everyone Gets A Trophy!!! Life is hard, there is no easy road. You get out what you put in. Remember a diploma is not a golden ticket to bypass steps in the process. A handshake, eye contact and follow through still goes a long way. Resistance is part of life, don't quit when it gets difficult. Achievement is often obtained by simply outlasting someone, so hang in there. Teach this early if not it becomes a precedence in life. Words hurt, there are no redos. Failure is inevitable and necessary to grow. Speak truth and be able to handle the truth. Not everything is packaged perfect and politically correct...get over it. Remember if everyone gets a trophy generally it devalues it for the winners and embarrasses the losers.
Draw Your Line in the Sand. Don't just go with the herd. If you do, don't b#$@h, piss and moan about it. There are things that you must identify that you will and will not tolerate. This is what will define you throughout life. Integrity and character are hard to find. Respect and trust, if people don't see it demonstrated in you don't expect it from others. Do you watch or go along with mistreating others? What are you willing to do? Do you have the attitude, "as long as they are not on my case, it is good". Doing the right thing will generally cost you. Draw your line, and know what you are willing to lose.
What does tolerance cost you. In today's workplace we have a maximum of tolerance and a minimum of accountability. The cost is decreased productivity, decreased quality, decreased satisfaction, increased turnover, disengaged staff and increased usage of PTO and FMLA. People are listening, but not hearing. The culture is all to often established that it is better to not question and just deal with it. What are you doing to change it? Do you just accept it? Do you hold yourself accountable? If not, be careful of your expectations of others. Also, why does accountability seem to exist when it is convenient?
Letting people go. It is necessary in life. Many people will simply let them carry you as far as you are willing to do so. These people have a radar for identifying the top performers and how they can benefit them. If you are carrying people that is ok, just know the risk. in the work place if these people are allowed to stick around they will destroy a team and allow mediocrity flourish. It is also important to establish that "kindness is not weakness". Many people have good intentions, but we are not defined by intention, we are defined by action. Work and discipline are what bridge the two. Know your limitations and when to cut the dead weight. Madea said it best with her TREE example.
Is there anything I can do? This is a simple question that is annoying in a time of need. It requires no true commitment, just empty words. When someone is in need or going through a hard time, this is generally a really stupid question to ask. Odds are the answer will be "NO" to you (general relief because you didn't really want to do anything), but they probably do need or want something. Take some damn initiative. Action that is what people remember. There is far too much talk going on. Much character distinction can be me made about some one, who is will to "do something" and use their time/money. A little effort goes a long way and will leave an impact. Simply asking is expected. If you are not truly interested in doing something to help or provide a kind gesture, don't even bother asking. Buy a meal, paint a fence, babysit, buy a bottle of alcohol.....DO SOMETHING. Remember the least you can do is lay on the floor naked and breathe.
From time to time we play into what we have always heard.
People always talk about "the balance" in life. This "balance" is pointless if you don't know your goal. If your intent is fulfillment and a higher level of satisfaction/impact you CANNOT be balanced. You will be forced out of the "complacent" space and you will have lean to the side of risk. There is no GUARENTEE of more without the risk. This is why so many in life feel stuck or in the same routine with minimal influence or impact. Complaining is not taking a risk. Complaining is also not an effective action. What action are you taking in risk--- speaking up, asking question, setting boundaries, saying "no", moving on, honing focus. Whatever it is, if you want more there it will not come with "the balance." Also remember you can always come back to the balance after taking your risk. This is what most people fail to realize. The "lean to risk" is not permanent, but no risk will produce no change.