I’m sure that we have all be given advice at some time in our lives. Some advice was probably good (“Don’t drink, smoke, or chew — or go with girls that do.”) and some probably not so good (“Stay away from that Apple stock — those Mac computers are only for teachers. Compaq is the company I would invest in.). Some advice has probably helped us through some hard times, while other may have gotten us into trouble. In the work arena, we, hopefully, sort out the good advice from bad advice and use it to make us better or more productive. So, today’s question for you is this:
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given and how did it make a difference to you?
Here are some of the best advice I have ever been given (only a dozen for today – perhaps more in a future edition):
- Start meetings on time and end when you’re done – no need to go an hour just because that is what is scheduled and no need to reward those late for the meeting when others arrived on time.
- If you aren’t making a positive difference for others, then you are not fulfilling your real purpose.
- Silence is often golden. (Early in my pharmaceutical career, my boss and an FDA investigator sat in silence looking at each other for a full 30 minutes before the investigator gave up hoping he would say something that would support his contention of wrong-doing. Saying nothing is always better than putting your foot in your mouth.)
- Assuming that a PowerPoint presentation is necessary, never create 10 slides when 3 would tell the story just fine.
- A great day is not defined by what happens, but by how you respond to what happens. Therefore, you are in complete control of your attitude.
- “You can’t have a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” (This advice came to me within the last year – I ran across this quote by John Wooden and it just keeps rolling around in my head every time I think my day is going pretty well.)
- You don’t know if today will be your last day, so leave people with positive and happy memories of you — just in case!
- As a QA professional, remember that anyone can do the job when everything is black and white. You earn your pay helping others get comfortable in the many shades of gray that we actually live in.
- You’re doing no one a favor by failing to develop your replacement and strong bench strength across the organization.
- McDonald’s ice cream cones!
- Everything can be boiled down to a maximum of three key points – what are they? Forget the rest.
- Someone needs to be thanked today for what they are doing – identify that person and tell them.
Have a terrific and productive day! Think about the best advice you have ever received and how you can re-apply that advice today.