2014 Lessons Learned

Stay in Tune to Corporate Language
Recently working within a Fortune 100 organization, I realized I had to learn customized corporate language. I have worked in 40 corporations over the years as a consultant and found this organization had a particularly different way to communicate. I learned to absorb and take it in as quickly as possible, but I am still struggling with some of it. The lesson is you can’t learn a specific corporate language until you are in the organization, but trying to stay more in tune to the current “talk” as we move along could help.
Hard Work Doesn’t Always Guarantee Applause
I learned there is no guarantee that working hard and performing well will lead to external rewards. Despite an exemplary record, without considerable self-promotion and image cultivation, a person can remain highly-regarded, but not recognized as a leader or valued adviser. As an outside consultant, occasionally we hear, “Great Job!” which helps us become motivated to move on to the next challenge. However, our true motivation comes from within knowing we did a job well-done and that, many times, needs to be enough.
Think Before Taking on a New Project
I’ve learned that sometimes you have to say, ”No,” when you hear about a project opportunity that sounds really good, especially if you are already busy with work you can’t keep up with. It may actually hurt your health and family obligations when you can’t provide your best work because you have too much on your plate. Or, even worse, you have to withdraw from the project before it is completed. Carefully thinking about all the implications and consequences of a new project is important in maintaining good health, balance and success across all your work and non-work obligations.
Trust is a Many Splendored Thing
I’ve always believed that trust is one of the most valuable aspects in any relationship – personal or professional. We know trust takes time to build and, yet, it can be shattered instantly. So being diligent in keeping trust strong within all of our relationships is worth every minute and ounce of effort. And, as an added benefit, it helps to expand our network and bring in new business, too. This year has been the year of referrals and recommendations resulting in new friends, new clients, and new projects. And I’m very grateful for each one.
Refresh Your Memory
Refreshing your memory is so very important, especially if you are working on a client project or a system you haven’t visited recently. Doing so will ensure you remain a confident expert and will leave no doubt in your client’s mind.

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