Monday, January 20, 2014

Starting Over


 Starting Over
How often do you get to start over every six months?  Throughout my former career in HR I focused on longevity and continuity, using both to promote consistency and customer satisfaction.  Here on the faculty, with the beginning of each new semester, the momentum and continuity is more personal. And I’m starting to see similarities between the two.

In the world of work I tried hard to make those around me smarter and more effective; the longer they stayed with the company the better they became.  And we leveraged that continuity to help create consistently great experiences for customers.

Here at school, we try to make ourselves smarter and more effective, and to use that self-improvement for the benefit of each semester’s new students. And for each group of new customers (read: students), it’s like the old Eastern Airlines motto: We earn our wings every day.

In both worlds it really is about making sure each of us, whether manager or teacher, is as good as we can be.  It’s about doing whatever it takes to continuously learn and improve, to be better tomorrow than we are today, and to openly and honestly assess and address our strengths and weaknesses. 

Self-reliance, self-direction, self-motivation, personal responsibility and accountability are the characteristics of effectiveness and success in everything we do.  So I guess starting over is really about seeing every day as an opportunity to improve our own personal effectiveness.  

My message this week is about being responsible and accountable for our actions:

“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves -- to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.”  Stewart B Johnson

Ever hear it said: “if you’re not moving forward then you‘re falling behind…”?  Most business owners (and managers who feel like owners) feel that way – so they work extra hard at creating ways to sell or do more while spending the same or less. But after a while, that gets progressively harder because you run out of ideas.  That’s when it’s good to look around for best practices, listen to and learn from others, and fearlessly try new things.  It’s even good to go back and re-look at what you might have done before and could do more of, or what didn’t work quite right and could use a little tweaking.   So act like an owner and go break some of your own records today!

Stay well.

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