Nugget of Wisdom for October 3, 2014
I learned a very important lesson early in life about navigating the social, academic and corporate landscape — first from my parents, then from mentors, and reinforced by professors:
— Always look people in the eye and speak directly to them with sincerity.
— Speak respectfully to everyone in an organization, whether they are the CEO, supervisor or janitor.
— Don’t get so focused on promotions and titles that you become self-serving and ignore the opportunity to reach back and help those who are on the same path minus your success.
Without these three concrete lessons, I would have been up the creek with no allies other than my parents and a couple of relatives a few years ago when the economic downturn wiped me out.
I see a lot of people (young graduates) coming out of school and flourishing. I am happy for them. Some of them have grasped this essence and comport themselves accordingly in their pursuits. Some become full of themselves and step over people, look down on others and become arrogant in their achievements that they are setting themselves up for a steep fall (passing those aforementioned people who they looked down upon and stepped over) later. For some, this is an inevitable fall. For some, it will be soon, others, later.
If I can say anything for the past five years in the younger students who I have mentored, along with my younger relatives who are transitioning into adulthood, is to impart these tenets into their respective psyches. Pairing that wisdom with the typical youthful sense of invincibility has a steadying effect that some never learn until they are forced to cope after the fact. And that is an unfortunate scenario to observe first-hand.
In the 3Q/4Q I have talked to a few new graduates who have just begun their careers, and I wish them all the best. I also wish that they remain on a consistent and fruitful path; and not a selfish, arrogant path that sets them up for failure. I cannot reach all (and also see a few who are really on their way to a humiliating fall), but if there is anything else to be said…
It is a lot easier to be consistent and fruitful, than to have to rebuild from scratch because you rejected wisdom along the way from those who knew better before you embarked on your journey.
Share for those who you believe can use this wisdom.