Today is my wife Cathy’s birthday. I wanted to give her a little shout out here – and to tell her that I love her dearly. But that’s not the only reason for dedicating a post in this career advice blog to her. Cathy embodies many of the career success ideas I share here, in my talks, my career success advice books and my membership site.
Tweet 62 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Your personal brand should be uniquely you, but built on integrity. Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking.” When you act with integrity, you are consistent in your actions.
Here’s a story to illustrate this point about Cathy. She was a flight attendant for 36 years. Seniority is a very important thing in the airline industry. It governs how you bid for trips, positions on the airplane and vacations – almost anything important to a flight attendant’s quality of work life.
Cathy was very active in her union. And seniority was one of the union’s most sacred principles. A few years before she retired, Cathy’s airline made a big push into the international market. International flights were plum assignments; they went to people with high seniority.
However, the airline realized that it would be to their advantage to have some flight attendants who spoke the language of the country to which they were flying on these international flights. Most of the senior flight attendants in her airline, including Cathy, spoke English only. The airline proposed putting two “language speakers” on each international flight. These were people with less seniority, but who were bilingual. Many people, including Cathy, were upset with this arrangement as they felt it violated the seniority concept.
Cathy used to fly from the US to London. One day I said to her, “This whole language speaker issue doesn’t really affect you. You fly to London; there are no language speakers on those flights. Why do you care so much?” She said, “I believe in the concept of seniority. It doesn’t matter if I’m affected by language speakers. It’s the principle of the thing.” That’s consistency – and integrity — in action; something you should incorporate into your behavioral repetoire if you want to create the life and career success you want and deserve.
Here’s another example. Tweet 124 in Success Tweets says, “Everyone has something to offer. Never dismiss anyone out of hand. Take the initiative. Actively build relationships.”
Cathy is the best example of someone who values every person she meets. She is friends with everyone – the pharmacy techs where we get our prescriptions, the couple who own the dry cleaners where we do business, the supermarket checkout people and baggers, the people who work in the salon where both of us get our hair cut, the servers at the restaurants we frequent, and on and on and on.
Cathy is genuinely interested in these people. She knows their names, their spouses’ names and their kids’ names. She inquires about their lives. She knows about their vacations, what grades their kids are in school and lots of other things about them – all because she values them as individuals and takes the time to get to know them. She is one of the least judgmental people I know.
If you want to create the life and career success you deserve, take a lesson from Cathy. Pay attention to the people around you. You will learn a lot and your life will be richer for it. Don’t judge people by what they do. Get to know then as individuals. You’ll be surprised at what you learn.
There is a side benefit to this too. Cathy will be having shoulder replacement surgery on November 1 — a by product of all those years lifting bags into overhead bins and pushing heavy carts while fighting gravity. Because she takes the time to get to know people personally, they also know about her. Come November 1, she’ll have a lot of prayers and good thoughts coming her way.
One more example – from Tweet 69 in Success Tweets. It says, “Demonstrate respect for yourself and others in your dress. People will notice and respond positively to you.” How you dress says a lot about how much you respect yourself, and how much you respect other people. You read that right. Your attire is about respect. If you respect yourself, you will dress well and look good. If you respect other people, you will dress well and look good. It’s as simple as that.
Clothes that are wrinkled, have spots from previous wearings, are too tight – or too big – and have missing buttons or undone hems characterize you as someone who doesn’t care. Someone with little self respect. Someone with little respect for other people.
People notice how you look. It’s as simple as that. So put a little thought into getting dressed each day. Make sure that what you wear reflects the professional you are. You don’t have to spend tons of money on your wardrobe. But you do need to maintain it.
Cathy personifies this. She always pays attention to what she’s wearing. When she leaves the house she looks good. Her clothes fit, are neat and pressed and are coordinated. She demonstrates respect for herself and for the people she will meet that day in her attire. I am always proud to be seen with her because she always takes pride in her appearance.
This career success coach post has been a shout out to Cathy my wife on her birthday. She embodies much of the life and career success advice I present on this blog, in my books and talks and in my membership site.
That’s the career advice that comes from the example set by Cathy, my wife. What do you think? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment. I’m sure that Cathy would appreciate any birthday wishes you send her way. I’ll pass them on to her. And I ask that you send some good thoughts her way on November 1 the day of her shoulder replacement surgery. As always, thanks for reading my daily thoughts on life and career success. I value you and I appreciate you.
PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained. One is 140 bits of career advice, all in 140 characters or less. The other is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail. Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy. You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.
PPS: I opened a membership on September 1. It’s called My Corporate Climb. To celebrate the grand opening, I’m giving away a new career advice book I’ve written called I Want YOU…To Succeed in Your Corporate Climb. You can find out about the membership site and get the career advice in I Want YOU… for free by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.