I’m feeling introspective today. These are realizations to which I can point and say “Yep, that’s where I changed”:
- It’s not all about me. Successes, failures, perceived snubs, etc. are never solely my own. Share credit, accept blame, assume the best of people (a continuing struggle for me, but hey, I’m working on it).
- Mistakes don’t get you fired. Lack of progress does. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Portent lose a client because we screwed up. I have seen it happen when we get complacent. Which happened often when I was running all of our projects, and almost never happens now.
- No one gives their vendors a raise. Early on, I took a lot of projects based where someone told me “If things work out, we’ll pay a lot more!” Yeahhhh not so much. It’s a well-intended promise that never comes true, and it led to ballooning, unprofitable work.
- The work must be its own reward. I’ve learned this lesson again and again. It’s why I started my company. It’s why I’ve now hired a president. Unrewarding work makes any salary too small, and any work week too long.
- Time management skills matter. Before I could become even mediocre as a manager, I had to learn to manage my own time. You cannot run a company until you can run your own life.
- Just fix it. Never, ever present a problem unless you have at least two potential solutions.
With each of these lessons, good things happened. I don’t know what the next lessons will be, but I’m sure there’ll be a lot of ’em.