15 Things Successful Professionals Do: Part 1 of 3

Ilya Pozin wrote a great post on LinkedIn titled, “15 Things Successful People Do.”  Here is the Career-ology version of Pozin’s list with a focus on your career and professional success.

1) Fail – At some point in your career, you will encounter failure—your position is downsized, you get overlooked for a promotion or bonus, you choose a job that isn’t the right fit.  You cannot have success without failure. Stop.  Assess. Adjust. Keep moving forward.

When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures.  So I did ten times more work.  ~George Bernard Shaw, Playwright

2) Set Goals – You must identify and develop the critical career skills with the same discipline of your formal college curriculum.  As a professional, you are responsible for establishing and working towards your goals.

People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine. ~Brian Tracy, Author

3) Don’t rely on luck – Luck is only one small part of the professional success equation.  Without mastering the right skills, you cannot rely on luck alone.

I am a great believer in luck.  The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have. ~Coleman Cox, Author (interesting note: Thomas Jefferson is often incorrectly cited as the source of this quote)

4) Track progress – Like setting specific goals, tracking your progress against your career goals is important.  Make adjustments when required, but stay focused on your progress.

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. ~Benjamin Franklin

5) Act – This is your career.  Take responsibility and take action.

If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. ~Michael Jordan, Professional Athlete

Stay tuned for “15 Things Successful Professionals Do: Part 2 of 3” next week.

 

READING LIST: Speaking Mastery

If you are looking for a great book on public speaking and presentation skills, here it is: Speaking Mastery: The Keys to Delivering High Impact Presentations by David & Michael Hutchison.

The book is based on the author’s real-world, practical experience gained from over 1,000 presentations.

Part 1 focuses on how to deliver your message including your eye contact with the audience, your movement on stage, and tuning up your voice.

Part 2 focuses on the developing the content of your message including determining the point of your presentation, a great mind-mapping exercise for developing content, and getting the audience to commit to your purpose.

Part 3 focuses on building the “internal muscles” necessary to be a great public speaker including your identity, your thoughts and your emotions.  The tactics presented here can be applied to many areas of life, but are especially important for speakers who are uncertain about speaking or presenting in front of an audience.

Why public speaking scares you?

In Susan Adams article, Why Public Speaking Scares You and How to Overcome Your Fear, she highlights the work of Jane Praeger, a NYC media and presentation coach.

Praeger stands by the standard advice: know your material and the audience, practice your speech, check out the room in advance, do relaxation exercises like deep breathing, don’t apologize for being nervous.

Great advice.  PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE is a Career-ology mantra!

Adams continues to report. .  . Read more

“Does that make sense?”

In his Harvard Business Review Blog Network post, Jerry Weissman makes the point that for many people asking “does that make sense?” during a presentation has become a filler.  Other well know examples of fillers include: “like,” “you know,” “to be honest,” and the all too frequent and dreaded “um.”  Jerry is an expert at coaching business people to be successful presenters.  He has published several books on the subject including the  most recent book Presentations in Action: 80 Memorable Presentation Lessons from the Masters (FT Press: 2011).

I agree with Jerry’s point which is essentially that asking your audience “does that make sense?” can convey. . .  Read more