Make Yourself a Little Better Every Day
As I listen to some of the news reports these days I could be led to believe that it’s wrong to try do well in your career and in doing so, to earn more than the next guy. On the contrary, I think it’s “right” to want to be the best you can be at whatever you do. I think it’s “right” to be competitive and to want to win — on the sports field, in the classroom or in the business world. I want my team to win, my school to win, my company to win and I want to win.
A key to winning in the business world, like elsewhere, is to continually improve yourself – to build your management knowledge and skills every single day. Conditions around you — economies, markets, customers, products, organizations — are perpetually changing. Unless you are building your skills continually, your past skills may not be appropriate for these fluctuating conditions; and instead of improving your ability to reach goals and succeed, you may find your performance slipping.
I often wonder when people tell me that they have five years of experience whether they actually do, or if they have one year of experience repeated five times. If it’s the latter, they are performing today with the same skill set they had five years ago.
I don’t think managers get better only by virtue of their experience. They don’t get better by just reading a management book or by attending a seminar, although some think they do.
In both these cases, managers frequently fail to get better if they don’t translate concepts, ideas and skills into management strengths. The key is the ability to take a concept, an idea or a skill and turn it into daily behavior through commitment and practice.
So being exposed to management ideas, concepts and skills is not what makes managers better. Managers will only get better when they take responsibility for getting better. It is important for managers to systematically improve their skills by taking responsibility, demonstrating commitment and practicing those skills.
Commit to making yourself a little better every day. Conditions around you will perpetually change. I have found that unless you continually improve your mind and build your skills, your ability to succeed at whatever you pursue will diminish. Personally, I have always had a goal of learning at least one new thing every day. This attitude toward learning can make a big difference in personal growth, and in making yourself the very best you can be.
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