I was asked not too long ago to talk about building blocks for success… and specifically what my building blocks have been for my success. Odd, I thought. I don’t really think of myself as “successful.” I love my work, I adore my family and I’m pretty darn happy. But for me, I guess because I’m still in a growth phase of my career, I’d just never slapped the success label on any part of my life.
But request made me think… mostly because once I’d said yes I’d certainly have to come up with something to fill 30 or 45 minutes on this topic. So I got a little existential and pondered,
How did I get here?
For the purposes of my presentation and discussion, I defined three “building blocks”: the intangibles, the skills and the glue.
What are your values? I identify three that have been important for me.
- Empathy – the ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes. I’ve talked a lot about empathy here. You can read it here.
- Generosity – generosity of time and spirit lets you put yourself out there and trust me, you’ll learn more than you teach.
- Curiosity – be insatiably curious and always excited to figure out what’s next.
You can’t be successful without the skills to do your job.
- Writing – communicating clearly in writing and verbally is crucial regardless of your industry. Get some practice, get an editor and build your skills.
- Verbal – you don’t necessarily have to give presentations, but you have to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and out loud. To other people.
- Industry Specific – In PR, it’s writing and speaking that’s the crux of what we do. But it’s increasingly important to undersand technology (web, video, audio), too.
Even if you have all the above pieces, you still have to have the glue that pulls it all together.
- Networks: online and offline networking with other professionals. Learn to build your networks.
- Mentor: My mentor has been pivotal in my career, and in turn I enjoy being a mentor, too. I’ve written about the mentor-mentee relationship before.
- Friends & family: Pretty basic concept. My friends and family keep me grounded. And my partner is the household manager for our family, which really allows me to do what I do.
You can click through the Prezi here.
What are your building blocks?