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Leaders Share Advice to Their Younger Self

Leaders Share Advice to Their Younger Self

Author: Pete Langlois/Tuesday, November 13, 2018/Categories: SNI Companies, SNI Financial, SNI Certes, SNI Technology, Accounting Now, Staffing Now

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We’ve All Been There

No matter who you are, we all have that one thing—that one situation—we regret or would do differently. Whatever it is, reflection is a good tool to make that specific situation be a lesson to you, or someone else contemplating the same decision.

Reflection as a tool is often times not utilized in the professional space, which leaves leaders repeating an unproductive process, or even worst, a costly mistake.

How Can I Implement This Tool?

Reflection can be as easy as spending 5 minutes to think about your day before you go to bed, or as intense as the car ride home without the music on.

Benefits of Reflection

There can be many benefits of self-reflection depending on how you use it. I will just name a few that I have personally experienced:

Learn From My Actions

  • I can analyze what I did on a ‘good’ day and what I did on a ‘bad’ day and change my attitude or actions to ensure a better day.

Gain Humility

  • When you are able to analyze your thoughts and emotions outside of the immediate conversation, you can find faults that could be attributed to yourself, which in the end makes one extremely humble and makes you think before you speak before the next time.

Challenge Myself

  • We spend time in reflection to grow, it never hurts to give yourself a mini-challenge the next day to correct minor things (i.e. coffee consumption, water consumption, saying hello to a stranger, etc.)

How Does This Apply to the Hard Workah Show?

On the show, I make it a point to ask my guests: “Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 21-year-old, younger self?”
I am not surprised that these leaders knew exactly what they would advise their younger self. Some of my favorites (in no particular order) from our shows are below. Be prepared to learn from someone else’s mistakes and let us know if it was helpful in any way to you.

Don’t want to read it? Listen to it in this episode!

Work-Life Balance

“If I was going to give advice to someone who is just starting out on their career, again, I would say, “Be committed. Find something that you’re passionate about or that you at least really enjoy doing, because you’re going to spend a lot of time at work. And when you’re at work, work smart and work hard so that you can go home to your family and do ‘home’.”
- Allison Gwisz, Human Resources Business Partner, The Suddath Companies

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

Recognize the Resources You Have

“Nobody’s a self-made man. There’s always somebody there who’s helping you out and helping you along the way. My recommendation would be to anyone, pay attention to what you’re doing. Listen to those people. Do the best you can and just understand that every decision that you make today will affect every decision that you make in the future.”
- Lt. Jason A Clements, PE, PSM, Civil Engineer Corps, United State Navy

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

“I can tell you, I think I would have told myself what a recruiter is and what they do. Because when I was 21 and I went to UNF, I had no idea that a staffing agency existed. I had no idea that there were people out there that, pending graduation, were able to assist me and that it would be so simple for me to have the door open to all of these companies that I had never even heard about.”

- Erica Brockway
  

“One, it’s gonna be okay. And you will find a job, you will figure out what you wanna do with your life. I mean I think that Erica spoke to it very well, where if I had known there was going to be a resource for me coming out of college, I probably would have been more comfortable. I was one of the students who took every class, changed my major like four times- I had no clue what I wanted to do and I think I could have probably gone to a recruiter or a staffing firm and said, “Listen, this is what I like and this is what I don’t like and this is what I hope to make in life.”
- Taylor McLellan, SNI Companies

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

Be Resilient

“One that I’ve struggled with, from time to time, that I’ve hopefully gotten better with over the years is, when you hit upon hard times or when you don’t get something you’re pursuing, being resilient with a positive attitude.”
- Harold Stankard, Senior Vice President, General Manager and Regional Leader of the Fidelity Investments Regional Center in Jacksonville, FL

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

“The main thing I’d probably tell myself is to be open to being an entrepreneur, because the nine to five cubicle space was not for me. I don’t sit still well; it just wasn’t for me. And I’d say the last thing would be to always be ready, because in some moments maybe I was in between jobs, I still got up every morning, and I got dressed like I was going to go to work in case I got a call from a resume, or I got a call from a staffing agency, or I got a call to do some temp work, whatever it might have been. I had some of my best sales whenever someone said, hey, can you come right now? Just always be ready.”
- Katie Norton, Independent Agent at LegalShield

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

This advice comes from combined years of experiences and a LOT of mistakes. My wish is that you are able to avoid some of those hefty mistakes and run with this great advice from successful leaders.

There is a Balance

Warning: too much reflection is overthinking and overthinking is unhealthy. If reflection brings on anxiety, try doing it in small doses, or focus on things that are correctable.

For instance, you can correct your attitude by how you speak to people or by your morning routine. You cannot correct someone else’s attitude or thoughts, you can influence them, but try to focus on YOU in reflection.

Activity

Try to spend 5 minutes right now, wherever you are and just think about your day (so far). Think about the interactions you had, about the times you spoke, or emailed, times when you got upset, or felt uneasy. After taking some time to do that, now try to think about how you can improve the rest of your day, or tomorrow.

Here are some examples:

“I spent the morning rushing out the house and I didn’t even say goodbye to my family. Next time, I will take a minute to say goodbye.”

OR

“I was upset on the way to work because I got cut off (or I cut someone off), next time I will leave a couple minute earlier to avoid traffic so that I will not have to cut someone off, or I will not lay on my horn.

I use this format:

Today, I [What I did] and next time [what I will do].

I hope that this time of reflection becomes a part of your daily life, and that it makes you strive to be better than the day before!

If you would like to hear the full conversation, click here.


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Pete Langlois
Pete Langlois

Pete Langlois

Pete Langlois is a Chief Sales Officer at GEE Group. His blog leverages his decades of experience in hiring, training and retaining top talent and covers trends and issues of interest to employers and job candidates alike.

Other posts by Pete Langlois
Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Pete Langlois is a Chief Sales Officer at GEE Group. His blog leverages his decades of experience in hiring, training and retaining top talent and covers trends and issues of interest to employers and job candidates alike.

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12 comments on article "Leaders Share Advice to Their Younger Self"


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