Ever read those interviews with high-profile people and notice how they all have wise words from those who’ve helped them on their way? I’m sure this is no accident: people who succeed are not only able to get advice and wisdom when they need it, they act upon it and value it. We can all apply this, whether you’re high-profile or still figuring out where you want to go and how to get there. Start with a ‘Who’s Who?’ of your career to date.
Write down all the people who have had an influence on your career and development (both personal and professional if you like; this can be highly insightful). Up to you: this can be a brainstorm or Mind Map, a methodical list starting with the most recent or the earliest, or a visual map according to how big an influence on you. However you do it, get it down on paper.
Now for each of your wise influencers, note down the key lessons learned, and how those lessons were learned. For example, one of my earliest mentors used a catchphrase to ensure we all kept in touch with clients at the end of each week, which I’ve never forgotten. On Friday afternoons he’d be strolling around asking us if we’d,
Tucked up our clients for the weekend, put them to bed happy? Yes, at the time it seemed rather old-fashioned and sometimes a tad patronising, but it was a valuable lesson in client relationships that stays with me to this day.
Next, against your wise heads and the ‘how’ of what you learned from them, note down how you are applying that wisdom now. A very (very) early mentor figure in my life, when as a pre-teen I was nervous about walking into a swanky establishment, whispered that,
You have just as much right to be here as they do. Now chin up and be gorgeous! and I grinned as we swaggered through the door. And yes, I do still hear that and apply it even now.
Finally, note down how else you might be able to further apply these life lessons. Because it just may be that you’re restricting this magic to the situation where it was learned, and that’s doing both your mentor and their wisdom a disservice. Spread the good fortune you have and enjoy the results.