Dell worldwide started a new initiative called WISE… short for Women In Search of Excellence.
A couple of days back I was invited to give a brief talk to Dell Women Managers (at their Mohali facility) and share my work/home/ life experiences and balancing acts with them. The brief was to speak about principles I consider good to follow in the workplace and in general. Essentially a bit about myself accompanied by a motivational talk.
Well, the talk went off well and I was later told “You made quite an impact on the audience”. I’d consolidated my thoughts that evening in the form of brief notes, and I am sharing them here, with the idea of also expanding on some of these in blog posts to come.
Followed by a brief history of my own work experience and career span, here’s the gist of what the talk was all about:
- Set Goals for yourself. Get organized. Discipline your work & personal life. Make your priority list. Live up to your own standards. Address important tasks first before they become urgent. Confront hard realities. Understand and explore your ability to multitask.
- The only way to progress upwards in your career is to take on more responsibilities & prove to your seniors you are worth more than your current profile. Diligence at work is a very good start. Reliability is a big factor.
- Have a good and positive attitude. Try and spread your positive attitude. Don’t shy away from hard work or doing things that may not be written in your job profile.
- Volunteer to take on more. Don’t measure everything in money. There is a price to opportunity also. Often ask your seniors, what more can you do.
- Do it right the first time. Make work a fun activity. Be driven by yourself. Nothing like self-motivation.
- If there are things that need to be done more than once, create and then follow a process. If there is no process, invent one and show it to your seniors. Go the extra mile.
- Ideas alone will not get you far. Get the ability to execute them well and diligently. Contribute in areas where you may not be expected to. Surprise your seniors.
- Keep professional life and personal lives separate. Women tend to gossip and forget the fine line. Don’t bring personal problems to the office, no one wants to listen to your sob stories.
- Integrity is something you do when no one is watching. Build a strong sense of integrity and honesty around your character. Your bosses and workforce should be able to confide in you. Maintain very high work ethics. Rest assured, your bosses always know what you are up to. Be true to yourself.
- Constantly invest in upgrading your skills. In the IT industry, one-year old skills are outdated. Do a SWOT analysis of your skills every 6 months. Take advantage of every training program your company is offering you. Learn other things apart from your professional skills. You’re never too old. Learn how to knit, rollerblade, swim etc.
- Highest paying job is not always the highest growing job. Spend at least 3-4 years with the company. Frequent job-hopping for extra money rarely lets you learn well. Too many short-lived job stints do not look good on your resume. Try and work out a growth path for yourself and discuss it with your superiors. Most of all Learn, Learn, Learn.
- Take care to groom your subordinates. They reflect on and add to your own performance. Empty your own chair if you want to move up the ladder. Groom someone who will take your place. Develop their leadership skills. Mark of a good leader is to create more leaders. Share the credit publicly, reprimand in private.
- Seek out and keep company of positive, inspiring people & mentors. Try and learn something good from the company you keep. Avoid negative people, or those who are “only talk, no walk”.
- You will not always win or succeed. Sometimes you lose. If & when you lose, don’t lose the lesson. Success is a lousy teacher. Make mistakes, but new ones every time. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
- Life is fun when it’s filled with challenges. Women have the ability to rise to any challenge. They have all the right ingredients of intelligence, compassion, integrity, stability, multitasking and a lot more.