I'm all about learning from my elders: those who have gone before me to pave a way to success. That is why we are starting a new segment here at GYL called "Sit in the Chair."
My dad, a retired full Colonel in the Air Force recommended this simple action when I entered the workforce. See, what we don't realize is that people want to be approached, they love to give advice and guidance to those who share the same passion. So don't be afraid to reach out to the leaders you admire and invite them for a coffee and a chat. At the beginning you may be like me...shaking like a little wet dog and spilling coffee all over your brand new suit. I sure as hell hope not, but...
Sitting in that chair will be more valuable than a class, seminar, or any other resource. One on one - straight to the gut, pure white meat interaction with someone you look up to...what? Can we say, "hell yeah?". That is what I'm talking about. If you listen to many of the interviews we have here (Kyle Jasey, Kassidy and Ryan Brown, Matt Cheuvront, among others) they will talk heavily about this principle and how it led to remarkable - pinch me, I'm dreaming - success. So to quote Starsky and Hutch, "Do it, Do it!"
Now maybe you don't have the time right now to go sit in a bunch of chairs or don't have the cash to throw around for lunch or coffee. So, in the meantime, I'll share what I learn as I jump from chair to chair. These little nuggets of awesomeness will be great ammunition as your chart your path of success and happiness in life. So come back often and build up your artillery.
Let's kick it off with our first chair:
QUICK NOTE: These are leaders of generations before us; the “Mentors” we can turn to for life’s toughest decisions. (I have left out names for privacy reasons - the principles are the main focus here)
Sit in the Chair #1:
- When facing a potential crossroads, ask yourself questions like: "Can I see myself doing this for a long period of time?" Don't be afraid to challenge yourself on that, saying "I don't see how this aligns with what I have been doing, it could just be a splash in the bucket. Am I sure I want to go after that."
- Train yourself on work ethic by not accepted rewards freely. Set clear, measurable goals with victory points along the way. Then work for each marker so you truly value the rewards once you achieve each benchmark and you learn to appreciate what it takes to be successful.
- Set up a framework/structure so that you learn accountability, deadlines, self-discipline, responsibility, and start to function with clear expectations and boundaries. That instills a mentality that in order to get what you want in life you have to set a certain standard for yourself and for those around you. You have to live at a higher level. You have to be more self-aware than what might be comfortable in the moment.
QUICK NOTE: Structure is not always a bad thing. We are all about flexibility, but in order to thrive in a flexible world it is important to have a foundation of structure (self-discipline, work ethic, goals, etc.)
FINAL NOTE: As you can tell we are talking to a leader of a past generation that believed heavily in structure and strict guidelines. Many corporations are still aligned with this mind set and thus are built on rules and boundaries. She is also a parent and many of these principles are used for parenting. I see great value in many of these principles, but take them with a grain of salt and create your own “leadership” style tailored to your unique personality and environment.
QUICK COMMENT-WORTHY QUESTION: Do you think our generation enjoys flexibility now because:
- We were raised in a Structured Environment
- We were raised in a Flexible Environment - parents wanted to give us freedom
- We don’t like being told what to do
- Other (give us your thoughts on why we like flexibility).