Seventeen years ago, I left my senior leadership role at National Australia Bank. The reason seventeen is important is that I spent the same amount of time working at NAB. Yep, seventeen years in and seventeen years out… that makes me thirty-four. Hang on, I started when I was twenty. Anyway, moving along. I thought I might share what I have learnt in the past seventeen years.
So, in no particular order, here are the seventeen things that I know to be true for me.
- Don’t wait to be good at something before you do it.
- Put effort into maintaining and strengthening relationships.
- Be yourself, don’t pretend to be someone else… unless you are a dickhead, then pretend to be someone else.
- Be easy and fun to work with.
- It will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright… it’s not the end.
- Outsource stuff that you are not good at that does not give you energy.
- Discuss price openly at initial sales meetings – written proposals are overrated.
- Don’t leave a meeting with work to do (see above for case in point).
- Invest in your own professional development and keep investing in you.
- Avoid doing something out of pure obligation to others… it rarely ends well.
- Take control of your brand.
- Get good at saying yes to opportunities.
- Get better at saying no to stuff that doesn’t excite you.
- If you want a life by design, then design it and stay true to it (see above two previous points).
- Know your non-negotiables. If it is important to you, prioritise it and put it in your diary.
- Actively maintain your energy… know what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Busy is overrated. Bored is undervalued.
I would love to know which of the statements above resonated with you.