Words of Worth

Over the last couple of days, little snippets of good advice have popped out to me, whether while in our meetings with people, or walking around D.C. taking in the sights. Here I have listed some that may or may not be very applicable to everyone, but perhaps will be good reminders just the same. (Note: I can’t claim that all of these are direct quotes, or even paraphrased, because some are summaries of bigger ideas discussed.)

Brian Lamb

  • Strive for openness in a world that thrives working behind closed doors.
  • People who seem untouchable can be reached through public opinion. A reputation can either be a strong point, or a weak spot.
  • It’s important to see things from all sides. Even the sides you don’t agree with or like.
  • How are you going to help organizations you are a part of move forward?
  • It’s important to know whom you’re associating with or working for. Know their history.
  • You have time; get a job you enjoy. But also, time things well – look 6 months ahead.
  • Life is more fun when you’re scrapping your way along.
  • If everything stays the same, it’s not worth it.
  • Unabashedly knock on doors and take any opportunity; experience is experience.
  • It’s always about the money. You know a person or company through where they are spending their money.
  • Just ask, and keep asking.
  • You can come from wherever you are and be successful – everyone was someone before.*

Paula Kerger

  • Everything will shift. However, good stories told well will remain a constant.
  • Connect people to ideas.
  • Make sure to balance entertainment and education.
  • Partnering with people allows things to get done, and opens new and unexpected doors.
  • Cultivate a strong sense of volunteerism.
  • Keep your options open; learn what you can.
  • Work around people who can mentor you.
  • Look for ways to push yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid of moving sideways.
  • Put yourself in communities you want to be involved with. We create the community we live in. Get involved now.

Tom Rosenstiel

  • You have to balance where you spend your resources equally, and among a few key assets.
  • Brand yourself as someone who will be a champion for certain causes. Meaning, create a reputation for yourself as someone who will take up and pursue a cause, as someone who will see a goal through to the end.
  • Drive the conversation. Gain loyalty. Be transparent. Make a case for your cause (don’t just spout your opinions). Be authoritative.

Marcellus Alexander

  • Leaders motivate others, find people who are doing good things and let them know they are doing good work, and use mistakes as a chance for learning and growth.

Library of Congress (These are direct quotes from inside the Thomas Jefferson building. Here lists who originally said them.)

  • The true university of these days is a collection of books.
  • Books will speak plain when counselors blanch.
  • The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.
  • There is one only good, namely, knowledge; and one only evil, namely, ignorance.

Even though some of the speakers may have been talking about something in particular, I believe that these words have worth for a variety of situations. Similarly, some, or all, of these speakers may have been talking about things that were not of interest to everyone (or even in an interesting way). This doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them. What’s great about learning from people of all walks of life is finding new ways to liven up your experience with something seemingly unrelated. For example, I am probably going to go into work somehow related to psychology. But listening to Marcellus talk about leadership within the broadcasting world still applies to how I should think about leadership in the psychology world. The heart of his words, the wisdom, remains. This is why it was so great to get a variety of people to listen to on the trip.**

*Even Taylor Swift agrees.

**Thanks for your hard work putting this together, Jim!

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  1. #1 by aulstad15 on January 24, 2015 - 3:42 am

    Claire, this is a great post! I love how you put all of these people’s comments and ideas together because it helped remind me of some of the thought-provoking things that they said. I, too, was encouraged by the advice and lessons these professionals gave to us, and I learned a lot from their wisdom. It truly is amazing that we have had the opportunity to talk so personally and openly with these people who have incredible experience in a variety of industries. Like you, I appreciated being able to meet with people with such varied career paths and professional roles. If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that it often takes a few entry level jobs and transitions in order to learn and grow. I feel more comfortable in a professional setting now that we have visited so many places and met so many new people. I am now more aware of good questions to ask of an interviewer or potential employer, and I feel that this trip has equipped me with the knowledge and encouragement I needed as I enter my last semester of college.

  2. #2 by chunter15 on January 24, 2015 - 3:01 pm

    thanks! 🙂
    you made a really great point about becoming more comfortable in a professional setting through the experiences in this trip. I think that has been one of the most surprising and rewarding aspects of this trip.

  3. #3 by James McPherson on January 27, 2015 - 3:48 am

    Nice job of taking notes — and you’re welcome. 🙂 It was great to have you along.

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