Education Opinion

A Great Piece of Advice?

By LeaderTalk Contributor — January 16, 2010 1 min read
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It’s that time of year when New Year resolutions get caught up in the everyday clutter of the “tyranny of the now”. Last month, I had the opportunity to talk with two gentlemen during my wife’s school’s December get-together. I was a “trailing spouse” and recognized two gentlemen with whom we’ve sat near each other at various school events.

These two gentlemen are very well regarded by their peers and by the senior leadership in their organization. After the usual pleasantries, I asked, “You’re both considered highly successful both personally and professionally. I’m certain people come to you for advice. What’s a great piece of advice YOU have received that has helped you in your personal and professional lives?”

One answered quickly, “Write your summary of what you accomplished during your current tenure as soon as you start a new job. You want to start with what you want to accomplish in your current role early on so that you maintain focus when the urgencies threaten to take over your priorities. I keep mine beside my desk and refer to it weekly. That discipline of weekly referral helps me as I shape my calendar and my priorities for the upcoming week. I got this advice long ago from a mid-level manager who was great at developing talent on her team.”

The other answered, “That’s a great piece of advice. I’m going to have to use that. Thanks. Here’s a great piece of advice I received when I got my first management job-Don’t embarrass your mother. It’s a variation on the theme of being comfortable of your actions, words, and behaviors being on the front page of the newspaper, but the idea of not embarrassing your mother makes it more real to me. In this age of texts, emails, and voice mails being saved for a LONG time, I use this piece of advice as a little voice in the back of my head when dealing with thorny issues. It’s served me well over the years.”

Two great pieces of advice. Now it’s YOUR turn. What’s a great piece of advice that you have received that you are willing to share with the group?

I’m looking forward to reading your responses and learning from you.

All the best,

The opinions expressed in LeaderTalk are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.