I came across this quote as I was looking for content for work: “Know first who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.” – Epictetus.
Seeing as it is appraisal season, what an ideal time to get to know who you are. I still have a copy of my first properly documented appraisal. It was a great place to start as it really asked some tough questions that have been my standard of self-assessment up to today. As an intern, the question to my financial contribution to the firm was not relevant then but it planted a seed in my mind. Later, I have interpreted it to be that I cost money to the organisation and so I should justify it. I gauge my growth with those questions if I am the person I wanted to be then or even better. Since then, my appraisals are a self-assessment as much as a work review and more than checking the boxes.
I have had many diverse leadership examples so I cannot say for sure that I picked one specific person’s trait or work ethic.
I mentioned before the worker types according to Michael Gerber: technician, entrepreneur and manager and how he proposes building a lasting work culture through employing people when they are young and grooming your values into them. The advantage of this was that your staff could follow your best character traits but the downside is they will definitely mould into your negative traits as well. From my posts, I have had many diverse leadership examples so I cannot say for sure that I picked one specific person’s trait or work ethic. It’s a mash-up of many ideals. With that said, I have definitely encountered some phenomenal people in my path who have set some really daunting standards.
Even with Michael Gerber’s theory, it can not be ignored that each one of us has our own unique character and flaws. So even as my previous bosses and workmates have given me good advice and set up healthy challenges for me, my innate personality has my own flaws that set out a different path to success for me. An entrepreneur is the best person to understand that no man is an island. Because I have worked with several, team player is not just another resume buzz word, I genuinely thrive more with others. I have had people who love to share and discuss knowledge and ideas to make sure you are growing professionally. I share my stories because my first boss made it a point to share hers and it really blew my mind.
I have found my own motivations and that these vary with every season in life.
On the inverse, everyone learns in their own unique way. I have formed my own ideas of what justice is and where I need to fight for it. I have learnt my productivity process is different and the different ways to accelerate it. I have found my own motivations and that these vary with every season in life. I have my own expectations and learnt to let go of them along with the need to control outcomes. I have created my own definitions of failure and success. It has been rewarding.
Your boss/leader is a great start to having a mentor. To use what Robin Sharma calls the power of circulation- finding inspiration beyond yourself. Take some time to learn your leader’s story. Make use of their strengths and emulate them as much as you can. When you check into the office, make sure you take a pause on the paper punching and learn something new about the world around you. If it’s not your leader, it’s a senior colleague or an expert in a different field or even someone who has been there a long time. Your occupation is your calling, your experiences will define you beyond that.