A SNEWS® Training Center article brought to you by SNEWS® and Tom Richard of Bolt From the Blue
As I listened to Jennifer Blakeman talk about the keys to her success as a Mary Kay representative, there was one item in particular that grabbed my attention. She talked about how she took time every day to put on her “boss’s hat” as she planned, critiqued, and otherwise evaluated what she would need to do as her own employee. As she talked, I was taken back to the spring of 1999 when I made the most significant business purchase in my young career – the purchase of a twenty-dollar book.
The book was more than a resource with all of the answers; it has given me guidance, encouragement, harsh criticism, and the very “boss’s hat”-type planning tools Jennifer talked about as a key to her success. I would never have guessed that it would have stayed with me for so long or proven to be so valuable. The book I bought didn’t contain endless chapters of can’t-miss business secrets, nor did it throw empty buzzwords at the business world’s most weighty issues. In fact, this life-changing book had no words at all. It was a leather-bound journal from the local bookstore.
Beginning with the purchase ten years ago, and continuing up to this day, I have constructively written in my journal every single day. Unlike rote cataloguing of events, thoughts, and insights, my persistent journaling takes on a more utilitarian purpose. When I am faced with a big decision, I write about it, examine it, and learn from it. Whether I fail or succeed, I write about it, evaluate it, and learn from it. The purpose is the successful realization of worthy ideals. Everything we need to be successful in this world is already inside of us; we only need a way of allowing these worthwhile conversations to take place. The journal fills this role perfectly.
Take time out of every day to evaluate and critique your own performance, much like a boss would an employee. Be careful not to rely on your office boss to dictate your every move, or you’ll forfeit much of the value that you bring to your employer, mainly in the form of your ideas and drive to succeed. Often, we fail to realize that the boss in the office is by far less important that the boss within ourselves. When we start working for the boss within ourselves, we begin to see room for improvement not noticeable on the outside. We have room to grow and develop as employees and are the main catalysts for that change. A boss can’t bring the full potential out of anyone when he or she can’t know the extent of it. Only as individuals do we know our true potential.
As the boss of yourself, you’ll find that you not only know exactly what you should be doing and how you should be doing it; you will quickly realize that you’ve always known. The reasons you have not been executing these things to the best of your ability has been mainly because you’ve been working for the wrong person. As you begin working for yourself, you’ll begin to enjoy your work more while steadily moving towards your clearly-defined goals.
In fact, only you can truly make a difference in your own career. Use your journal as a sounding board, a training tool, and a vehicle for planning. You’ll find that, as you shift your focus away from what others think and say and start listening to yourself, everything around you will begin to change.
It only makes sense that you are the best boss. Who could possibly know you better? Who could better encourage and inspire you? Begin each day by putting on your “boss’s hat”, and use the time to create your day as if you were instructing an employee. You’ll quickly find that the best boss to work under is yourself.
Tom Richard is the President of Tom Richard Marketing and Bolt From the Blue sales training and specializes in both marketing and sales education. Visit his website at www.boltfromtheblue.com.