Relationships are not easy. More of them fail than succeed. We’ve all had our fair share of failed relationships, and I certainly fall into that category as well. Most people don’t figure it out until later in life. The irony is that it actually takes a few failed ones to eventually figure out how to make it work. Because the fact is, it takes work to maintain a long lasting relationship. You can’t just mail it in. You need to show up. Every day. Some are easier than others. I wanted to write a blog post about what I’ve learned about relationships, and quite honestly, that could fill a book. But I wanted to really narrow it down to handful of things I felt were non-negotiables. I asked myself, what things have I done in the past that killed my previous relationships? What did I need to look for and make sure I do regularly to make it work long term? While everyone’s list may be different, I believe that if you aren’t doing these 7 things, you’re destined to a failed relationship.
You see them all the time. Link bait lists claiming what women want in men. It’s understandable of course…lists are a great way to attract readership. Hell, I use them all the time. But these particular lists are always frustrating to see because they are always full of shit. Rich, funny, works out, trustworthy, romantic, cooks, cleans…it goes on and on. Like somehow if you possess all these boilerplate traits, you’re going to magically become more appealing to women. These lists never have any real thought or actionable direction. Sometimes these lists have claims that are made that surveys were sent out, research was done. Of course women are going to say they want all these things. Unique things are never going to surface in these articles. 30 out of 100 women are probably going to say something general like sense of humor, thus showing up in the list. But how many women will say something like one of their favorite songs is Nobody’s Fool by Kenny Loggins? 1 if you’re lucky!*
After realizing I was spending over $200/month on my cable bill, I finally reached a point where I had enough and cutting the cable cord was in play. Even though I loved being able to watch what I wanted, when I wanted it, I just didn’t find myself doing so often enough to justify the expense. So despite my anxiety, I cut the cord. Cut it without even thinking about what my backup plan was going to be. I figured I would just figure it out over time. Here are 5 things I’ve learned that make it a hell of a lot easier to do.
I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about this infuriating article from Mashable a few months ago basically condemning the use of certain “buzz words”. The article is chock full of “experts” I’m sure Mashable selected from a survey about what words they felt were overused. It’s practically impossible to read through the list of comments without hearing them in your head as a pompous “I’m better than you” tone.
Here’s the thing…who friggin cares?
You want to use the word visionary or innovate? Then use it. Just use it within the proper context. We’re seriously going to judge people on what words they use? I went through this list of theirs, and I use many of these words on occasion. Does that make me any less “visionary” or “innovative”? Please.
Judge people on the merits of their work, efforts, results and reputation. I think it comes off arrogant and judgemental to seriously shape opinions of people and businesses because you think a word is overused or cliche. Yes, it’s important to have an educated vocabulary, and variety/creativity in how you communicate, but not to the extent that you should fear using a word because it’s on some overused/buzzword list.
Hopefully you enjoyed my innovative, outside the box, visionary thoughts on this matter and you can now hit the ground running to create a game changing value add for your engaged customers and clients!
7 out of their 12 in one sentence. Not bad eh? Who can beat me in the comments?
Over the past 10 years or so, my career has shifted to focus more on managing teams and operations, and a good chunk of my time has been spent on interviewing and hiring. I’ve probably interviewed thousands of people in that time, and I definitely have a good feel for folks fairly quickly in the process. While roles vary and the qualifications for them can be very different, for me it really comes down to a handful of things that I look for and after thinking about it for some time, these 5 things are definitely at the top of my list.
1. You can work with anybody. I learned this the hard way at my time at Microsoft. There were so many people of various ethnic, professional and personality backgrounds, that you had no choice but to learn how to adapt and find ways to work with a variety of different people. Regardless of where you are at in your career, you should take it upon yourself to really focus and study what makes different people tick, and use that to your advantage. Everyone operates and communicates in different ways, and the more you can observe and figure out how to maximize your professional relationships, you’re going to go a lot farther a lot faster. One trick I’ve always used in meetings, is that when the meeting starts, I make a map of the table and those seated there. I’ll write down all their names, and a few notes about each person on the fly. That allows me to better be prepared to participate in the meeting in a more personable way, and help me remember something about everyone in the room.
2. You’re a self starter. On my teams, not being this is a deal breaker. I want people who are drivers. People who need little direction and hand holding, and can take problems and solve them independently. Critical thinkers who can work through challenges on their own, yet know when to reach out for help or assistance to ensure the job gets done as best it can. People who aren’t afraid to take risks, and own the successes and failures that come with it. I love working with people that actually have other passion projects or entrepreneurial projects on the side. They are usually clear signs of folks that are true self starters.
3. Confidence. Not to be mistaken with arrogance. There’s a fine line between both. I want to be surrounded by people that are confident in their abilities, their knowledge, and are able to convey that in group settings. People that can own a room, but also be able to demonstrate humility when you may not know everything. You don’t have to be a know it all to be confident.
4. You write and speak well. No matter what you do or where you work, there’s always a need for people that can write really well. Whether it’s well crafted emails, blog posts, or any sort of copy, talented writers are always in high demand. And I’m not talking about perfect grammar and spelling. Folks that are great story tellers, can educate, entertain, inspire through their writing. These skills can translate in so many different ways, and it’s usually a good sign of a person being intelligent, well-spoken, and able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people.
5. Helping others is always a priority for you. If you’re the kind of person that naturally and authentically looks out for others, is helpful, and genuinely wants to assist others, you’re going to have a place on my team, and many others in your future. This way of thinking/living really can’t be taught. You either are, or you aren’t. I’m a huge advocate for making hiring decisions based on untrainable/unteachable traits. We can always train folks on tactical facets of the job, but having a helpful attitude is just something you don’t learn.
So if you or someone you know is looking and hits on these 5 marks, send them my way. We’re always looking for the very best.