Editor’s Note: As many of you may know, our CEO, Ted Miller passed away earlier this month. Ted will be greatly missed for many reasons, including his leadership and contributions to Miller-Clapperton’s blog. For the next few weeks, we will be re-running some of our favorite blogs that Ted wrote. Thank you for all your prayers and condolences and thank you for your continued interest in our weekly blog.
Our company has been blessed to experience growth over the last several years and as a result of that growth we have been able to bring on several new employees. Recently, I prepared a presentation for these new employees; entitled, “What it Take to be Successful at Miller Clapperton”. The main points of the presentation are presented in this Blog for the benefit of others.
Have Confidence – You Are Chosen
Each of you are chosen to be here. That should give you the confidence to attack your jobs with the assurance that others that have more experience than you, see something or many things in your character, education, experience or something intangible that gives them confidence that you are capable of doing outstanding work. If that were not the case you would not be here, you would still be looking for a job.
Approach every challenge of your job with an attitude that you will not only complete the task in a workmanlike fashion and on time, but you will do something outstanding that will distinguish your work as exemplary. The sum of outstanding work by the individuals of a company yields an extraordinary organization and everyone desires to be part of that type of group. So, be confident and do your part.
Show Up and Be On Time
This seems elemental but it is essential to be successful. Woody Allen, the famous movie producer, is credited with the line; “half of life is just showing up.” There is a lot more truth in that saying than first meets the ear.
Literally, show up on time. There are people counting on you to get your job done so that they can get their job done. You want to stand out in your job but you do not want to stand out by your absence. Trust me, whenever job cuts come, and eventually they come to every organization, you can bet that the people who have been absent or tardy will get more attention than they want. The old saying goes, “they are not worth a thing to me if they are not here”.
Also, show up not only literally but also with your mind and heart. Show up with an attitude that supports the goals of the organization. Do not be a passive observer; become proactively engaged in the efforts of your group. Be a contributor of services not a consumer of services.
Do Your Job
There are two sides to this instruction. First, get the work done that has been assigned to you. If you are not clear on exactly what is required, have a candid discussion with your supervisor and make your task assignment “crystal clear”. Go the extra mile to determine the time frame in which the task is to be accomplished. Second, do YOUR job. Many employees feel compelled to dabble in the assignment of others by offering much more unsolicited advice than is requested. Many times these unsolicited encounters retard the timely completion of a task and the quality of the work. The old saying; “too many cooks spoil the stew” has merit.
Ask for Help
There are times that you actually do need help. Either the task is something; for which further training or instruction is needed, the time frame is too short for you to finish or a combination of these conditions or others. That is the time for you to evaluate the task and compare it to your available resources and ASK FOR HELP. There is no shame for analyzing the facts and determining that help is required. There is a great deal of shame associated with keeping silent and not getting the task accomplished.
Give Help When You Can
This heading seems to directly contradict the heading above that implores you to “Do Your Job”. This is one of many paradoxes of business. Get used to them; there will be more. There are times that someone is truly in trouble either with their available resources or the time frame for the task. When you observe this condition; and you have available time, OFFER help.
There are two important caveats to this instruction. First, available time, you should first concentrate on doing your job. If, at this point in time, you can do your job and help others, pitch in. But first you need to make sure you can accomplish the tasks that are assigned to you. Second, OFFER help. Do not burst into a task assigned to someone else without their enthusiastic approval. To do otherwise diminishes them and may also be counterproductive.
Keep a Positive Attitude
A person with a “can do” attitude is a joy to be around. The converse is also true. If you want to be successful you are going to need the ability to inspire others with your enthusiasm, especially when working with team or on shared assignments. Some people light up a room when they enter; others brighten a room when they leave. Guess which one will be assigned to the interesting projects and which ones will be shunted off to the horribly tedious and low return assignments?
Plan for Success
This element of a productive career is a cliché, but still very true. Expect a great result, lay out a series of tasks that will inevitably propel you to that success and then …….
Work Your Plan
It does little good to create a great plan without the execution of that plan. You should have worked on your plan long enough to have confidence in the plan. That does not mean that “mid-stream corrections” will not be advisable but do not lose sight of your grand plan. Keep your plan as your essential road map until something demands that you make a change.
The old saying, make your plan and then work your plan is still great advice.
Don’t Be Stupid
There are certain actions like, improper use of company assets (computers), stealing company time, insubordination, etc. that are just plain stupid. These actions will get you fired and you will not only lose a great job but you will find it difficult to get another one. A word to the wise should be sufficient.
Be a Life Long Learner
Many people say they have twenty years experience at a company. However, it is likely that many of these people have a single year of experience basically duplicated twenty times. Do not be that guy (or gal)!
Add to your personal assets continually so that you are more valuable. Be unnaturally curious about how things work, what is new in your industry, what industries are expanding (or retreating), what is the newest technical development, and what else can we do as a company? A Life Long Learner will always be an asset to whatever organization they belong. Be that guy (or gal)!
Act Like You Own the Company
Everyone needs a “north star” to help them navigate their way through uncharted waters. If you want to be successful in business, the best “north star” is to act like you own the company. This singular perspective allows you to balance the multiple and often conflicting requirements of business.
It will guide you through the conflict of short term goals versus long term goals and help determine where you should invest your time, money, talent, etc. There is no other navigational aid that will be as effective for a successful career as making decisions based upon the perspective of “if it were my money, I would do it this way”.
I am sure there are many other words of wisdom that can be helpful to a successful career but I am also confident that if you master these you can be successful. So make these an integral part of your plan, execute your plan, show up on time, don’t be stupid and do your job. Most everything else will work out.
And I have one final thing. Be lucky. But I am reminded of the saying that, “the harder I worked, the luckier I got”.
That is it for this week. Post your comments on the Blog and let us stimulate the discussion.
Project of the week : The Paramount at Lake Eola in Orlando, Florida is a mixed-use development that features some of the most complex fabrication we have ever done.