Last week in our staff meeting, I asked everybody, “Can you tell me why I require every single one of us to read a book a month? Why have I done this for the last seven-and-a-half years?” Answers ranged from me wanting them to improve to reading the same books brings us together. While great answers, the big answer is that I want them to make more money. Reading books help you advance in your career.
In this video, I get into the following three things you need to do to advance in your career: attitude, effort, and progress.
The first way to advance in your career is attitude. Over the course of your career, you'll hire a lot of talented people. I've hired so many incredibly, ridiculously talented people with bad attitudes. And they don't last. They don't last anywhere they go because wherever they go, nobody likes them. A positive attitude is the saving grace that keeps some team members from being fired.
When it comes to attitude, there are three types of people. One is the person that comes in who is neither negative or positive. Nobody knows they're around. You can walk by their cubicle 50 times, and if they get fired one day, no one notices, because you never see them. They don't say anything, so they're neither negative or positive. At least you remember the positive and negative person, but you don't remember the neutral person.
Next, are negative people. Anytime I look at a resume, I look at how many jobs the person has had in the past few years. If it's multiple jobs, one after another, there's something there. It can't constantly be the company. Companies just don't let go of good people. They want to keep them. So if something didn't work out six different times, most of the time it comes down to attitude.
Next are people with positive attitudes. I once pointed out an employee in the room and said, "Hey, let me talk to you guys about her." Then I said to her, "You know you almost got fired a few months back." She admitted she knew because everybody told her she was going to get fired.
I then asked, "Do you know why you didn't get fired? You were on the verge of getting fired because you had no clue what you were doing with your job. The only reason we didn't fire you was because you had such a positive attitude. You're contagious to be around. That's your saving grace. You have no idea how valuable that is. You stay like that, and you're going to do great things with your life."
The next way to advance in your career is effort. Let me explain to you what I mean by effort. You know who the guys are in the middle? I call them 7:59 to 5:01. They clock in the minute before they're supposed to be there and clock out the minute after. They have the attitude of, "There's no way I'm going to work one minute more for this corporation than I'm supposed to. I'm just not doing that." It's like a religion to them. It's still cool because they're not negative.
Do you know what the guys on the bottom do? These guys, for whatever reason, are sick on Monday and don't feel too well on Friday afternoons. Their timing is incredible on when they don't feel well, right? They want a longer weekend. Eventually, everyone knows what's going on with them.
The positive guys always move up. I remember on many of my jobs when I was off at 8:00 or 9:00, I'd stay until midnight. No one paid me for those extra hours, but I stayed until midnight. What happened as a result? One, I grew. Secondly, people started saying, "Pat's one of the hardest working guys in the company." I became Rookie of the Year. I got recognition and accolades. You know what else happened? It prepped me for one day being in an executive position. I already knew the effort part and wasn't afraid to work hard. I didn't mind putting in 12 - 16 hour days because I had done it. I'm always going to be needed because most people don't work that hard.
The third way to advance in your career is progress. Here's an example. I call a meeting and say, "I want these five people to be part of the meeting." The meeting is an ideation meeting on a new software, technology, new system, product, show, or whatever. As the person who called the meeting, I sit there to see who gives feedback. If a person doesn't give feedback, I don't invite them to the next meeting. Why should I? What's the purpose of them sitting there? It's not to look pretty. We don't get paid to model. We get paid to come up with ideas.
Now some people shut down when you don't run with their ideas. They become defensive because they're too sensitive. But the person that progresses says, "Okay, cool. No problem." They understand that some ideas just aren't workable, and they keep feeding more and more ideas.
Trifecta of Advancing in Your Career
The person that has a great attitude, is enthusiastic about being here, works hard, and has great ideas, that's a trifecta. I like those people and say, "Let's keep him long term. Let's give him more responsibility, move him up in the company, and give him a raise." That's progress. It's the person that always asks how they can make the company or industry better, and how they can make things grow faster or look better. They come up with ways to make the process safer and to make the work environment more fun. Everything's about better, better, better, better.
Then you have the person on the bottom that walks around and says, "Oh my gosh. I hate working here. Did you hear what he said? Here he goes again. You know, none of this stuff works."
The person with the bad attitude and bad progress become best friends. They're typically the same person. Somehow, they attract each other and join the same club. But the guys with good attitudes that work hard and make good progress always move up.
So, if you're reading this right now, whether you're an entrepreneur, businessman, successful already, whether you're running a company that did $180 million in revenue last year and you're feeling great, go back and inventory yourself and the people on your team. Assess your people. Help them move up. If you aren't doing well in all three areas, try to become a trifecta. Ask yourself every day, "How's my attitude today? How my effort? Am I becoming better at making ideas and progressing the company? If you continue to do this, I promise you, people will notice and you'll move up. It's inevitable. It works for everybody. So focus on these three areas.
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