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.)
- 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.*
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!