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Category: Business

Passion

Allow yourself to feel passionate about your job.

Get attached.

Fall in love.

It’s okay to nerd out. It’s okay to talk people’s ears off about the things you like.

It only makes you happier and more of an asset in the future, so find something you like about your job and focus on it.

-Josh

Versatility

Disclaimer – this post is not meant to dissuade you from specializing. Once you find that thing with which you have a fierce connection, by all means, specialize. Go after it an inch wide and a mile deep. But if you are still looking for that magic nut you want to spend your whole life cracking, you’ll have be open to shifting tides and rolling with the punches life throws at you. Follow the course of progress wherever it leads – we all know the technologies we depended upon a decade ago are now the punchlines of jokes. Never stop learning, and you will increase your marketability every day.

Don’t miss opportunities when they present themselves at inopportune times simply because they aren’t what you imagine yourself doing forever.

-Josh

Initiative

Where there is a spark, you see fire. Where there is a pattern, you build systems. The one who takes the initiative, 100 times out of 100, is going to be the one with the head start, and the one with the head start is by definition the leader.

Here’s one to write down – never complain about a problem without at least the beginnings of an idea about how to go about solving it. In fact, never complain about problems. Problems happen.

Problems are fun!

Attack them – that’s what they’re there for, and if you need help, bring others in on the attack. Formulate a strategy and take it down.

Dependability and Reliability

In times of chaos, people seek out stalwarts. As a reliable leader, you will be where people expect you to be. You will do what people expect you to do. When storms strike, people need a lighthouse to orient themselves to. Be that for them. Invite them to depend on you.

Where there is fire, you are there putting it out. Where there is gold, you are there mining it. Where there is struggle, you are there working to ease the burden of others. And where there is celebration, you are there to revel in your successes, because for a leader, your successes are everyone’s successes – remember to spread them around.

-Josh

Communication

This is a big one, y’all. Clear and prompt communication is a hallmark of a leader. The beginning, middle, and end of a job depend upon it, and never underestimate the importance of courteous communication – especially for those dealing with client-side interactions. Ask how someone’s day is going, and be sincere about it. Make a personal connection, however brief, and that connection will be stronger. Don’t waste time, though – professionalism is a mark of good communication as well.

I can promise you this – make your points quickly and answer questions succinctly, and when you open your mouth people will listen.

Answer your emails. Join LinkedIn. Tweet. Blog. Return phone calls. Communicate.

-Josh

Accountability

When you do a job, what’s next? Where are you? Are you accessible for follow-ups? And more importantly, do you follow up? When I think of accountability, I think of someone who takes the time after a job is done to evaluate their performance and pursue a continuing dialog. I know that person is going to back up their work, and I know that I can trust them to be there when the shit hits the proverbial fan.

A task is not complete until it has been reviewed, so follow up with your work. What should change next time to make the task more streamlined and efficient? What are the processes to build or adjust that will automate aspects of the task and free more time? Ask questions about the end results and the workflow experience with your colleagues and clients.

These are important aspects of leadership. Add them to your arsenal. Only you can make the required effort to add that final luster to a job that leaves everyone feeling acknowledged and valued.

-Josh

2017 Madison Media Institute Commencement Address

I was honored recently to speak to the graduating class of 2017 at the Madison Media Institute. It was a wonderful experience, and I was inspired by all of the students who had accomplished so much already through their time at MMI. I saw a lot of hope and excitement in the faces I saw, and I know that they will meet with many successes as they travel their diverse paths. Thank you for the opportunity, and congratulations to all of the graduates.

I am inspired to expand upon the leadership aspects I covered in the speech, and will be doing so in the next series of posts to this website, so stay tuned!

-Josh

Comfort Zones

As a bit of an introvert, I am constantly coming face-to-face with the limits of my Comfort Zone. It can be a challenge to get past that brick wall, but I have found that the more I fight past it, the weaker it becomes. Whether it is introducing myself to fellow business leaders in town or cold-starting my piano show in front of a small crowd of strangers, putting on a smile and jumping in really works. Try it!

Keep pushing your limits, and you’ll find that they start melting away. The fact that our Comfort Zones exist is proof that we aren’t taking enough chances in life. Put yourself out there. You will fall flat on your face a couple times, but you’ll land on your feet a couple times, too. The more you stretch yourself, the easier it will become, and the better you’ll get at it! The Comfort Zone is on the list of our enemies. Fight it!

-Josh

Making Choices

For a long time I was hesitant while making important choices. The problem was that I wanted to have the most information in front of me as possible before choosing. Makes sense, right? Well, here’s the thing. A lot of times you don’t know what the right decision would have been until way later, and the consequences of making the wrong choice usually aren’t nearly as bad as the consequences of making no choice. You may lose your opportunity, fall behind, or (even worse) develop a reputation of indecisiveness!

When faced with a decision, of course think about it, but do so with the information you have now. Trust your gut, but don’t mistake nervousness for a red flag. You will always be nervous when making a quick decision.

Make choices when presented with them. If it’s the wrong decision, great! It’s an opportunity to learn and grow and make better choices in the future.

-Josh