3 questions on having a spectacular 2016
QUESTION: Your January 3 Careers article entitled '10 strategies for a spectacular 2016' was excellent. It really resonated with me. I'll refer to it throughout this year. I'd like you to clarify strategy number six about developing powerful relationships. Does my network mean the people I associate with daily?
- Phillip T.
SMITH: I'm pleased the article resonated with you. It advised to "be conscious and strategic in developing your network". That means giving careful, deliberate thought to nurturing professional relationships with key people who can help you advance your career.
You also need to have valuable abilities, knowledge, skills, contacts, or resources which can help them achieve their career goals as well. Powerful professional relationships are not about using people or only thinking about how they can help you. Aim to give them at least 10 times more value than you'll ever ask or need from them.
These relationships can include some of the persons you regularly associate with. However, you should also move beyond your normal circle.
Seek out mentors, prospective clients, advisers, investors, and accountability partners.
QUESTION: I enjoyed reading your article giving 10 strategies for having a spectacular 2016. In it you recommended reading one book per week, or at least one per month. My problem is that I don't read much. As soon as I start reading a book, I get bored, lose interest, and want to fall asleep. What do you advise?
SMITH: My best advice is to develop the reading habit, using self-discipline. You don't have to enjoy it at first. Just recognise that it's crucial to your career success, and force yourself to read for at least 30 minutes in your field every day.
If you're serious about not settling for average in your work life, then superior knowledge is your competitive edge. Learning more every day is your indispensable key to being exceptional.
You may also learn through audiobooks instead of reading. You can transform your driving time into learning time by listening while travelling. You may also find excellent book reviews and summaries on YouTube, blogs, and websites featuring such information.
QUESTION: In your Gleaner column of December 3, 2015, you advised finding mentors as a strategy for having a spectacular year. My question is, where can I find such mentors? And can you be my mentor, Mr Smith?
SMITH: Sure, I'm happy to be your mentor, Patrice! To begin, schedule time to read the Careers column weekly.
Also, I think you'll get outstanding value by reading both my books mentioned at the end of this article. They will provide great insight into the strategies, mindset, tools, and resources you'll find most helpful in advancing your career and life. And email me at the address below with any questions you may have.
Mentors are everywhere - in books, on the Internet, at your church, or even at your workplace. You just need to know what you want to achieve in your career and life, then look around for people who can advise and coach you along the way.
Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.