20 Points For Success – Part Three of Four

We are continuing a quick examination of my “20 Points for Success” after addressing the first 10 in part one and part two.  Today we will cover points 11-15 and close out the last 5 in my next post. As I have mentioned, I have been using these “20 Points” as both a professional guide for me and a resource to share with others as they progress through the various stages the workplace offers.

Here are numbers 11 through 15:

11. Be Loyal in All Directions

Be loyal to your employer, your supervisor, your co-workers and your subordinates. This is one of those traits that will always cut both ways.  This is pretty basic, but is often absent or situationally dependent.  Loyalty means you don’t partake in rumor mongering, and you don’t trash others behind their backs.  Professional disagreements are one thing, but backstabbing and the like show disloyalty, and it cheapens you and others who engage in it.  Loyalty does not imply that you should be blinded by it; not at all.  Do what’s right, but be loyal to those that surround you.  If you feel that you must go in another direction, be open and candid with your reasons and do so, but guard against being underhanded and slick.

12. Be Consistent and Clear

Often, we hear complaints that leaders and managers are unpredictable. Happy and positive one day and critical and cruel the next.  Some workers claim these moods change daily or even hourly.  Nothing can be more debilitating and disheartening than not knowing what to do because you fear the unknown response or consequences.  Solid leaders are consistent and clear.  Their employees know what to expect, within a given range, of course.  If you are a supervisor and are of the mind that leaving your staff members confused about what to expect from you next is a good thing – think again. This lack of consistency and clarity only harbors mistrust, ill will, and fear.

13. Show Gratitude and Respect for Others 

The Golden Rule applies, and they don’t call it “golden” for nothing. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.  Respect one another as individuals, and you will be respected in return – it’s that simple.  Do you know the PLATINUM RULE? Do unto others as they would like to be done unto. The English is probably wrong, but you get the idea. This requires some real people skills and the desire to extend yourself.  Respect is one of those unusual commodities that you can only receive by giving. You are never wrong to show respect for differing opinions and points of view and the people who share them with you.

14. Build Teamwork and Collaboration

You are not alone. Don’t ever spend time banging your head on the wall because you feel isolated and alone in your work and can’t get ahead of it.  Find a teammate, co-worker, supervisor – anyone – and ask for the help you need.  Usually, the response will be very positive – you may be surprised. It’s tempting to feel vulnerable and insufficient if you need to ask for help, but don’t allow that to stop you.  In the circle of life, you will find yourself on the other side of this fence sometime. Getting things done together – may be far more efficient than going it alone. Learn to work together towards a solution.  Give and take.  Very few people can accomplish great things alone – in fact, I’m not sure anyone ever has. It does take cooperation and collaboration to succeed, so extend your reach and permit others to reach out to you to foster true and lasting success.

15. Promote a Common Purpose

Call it vision if you like. Good leaders recognize that with no visible, achievable, or defined target, even well-intended actions are random and arbitrary.  Leaders help identify the common purpose and unify the team members to move toward that target.   They provide the goal and the means to get there.  It can be challenging, but a key role of leadership is explaining how all the disparate parts need to work in concert to achieve success.  Without the common purpose defined, employees and teams could find themselves working at less than peak efficiency or worse – working against one another.

In my next article, I will cover the last 5 Points for Success.  I look forward to hearing from you and learning about what your key points for success are and if you agree with mine.  We all need some guideposts to help us remain focused and on course. I hope these are stirring some thought for you as you consider these and many more of your own.

Dave served a full 22-year career as an Army officer and followed that with more than 2 decades as a senior executive in several consulting firms in the Northern Virginia area. He has managed and led thousands of soldiers, Army civilians, and private sector employees in more than 43 years in leadership positions. He speaks and writes about leadership, relationship management, career transition, and keys to success.  READ MORE

David S. Maurer

Lieutenant Colonel, USA (Ret.) , Project Management Professional (PMP)



Books By Dave

Watering Rocks - How to Fail and Succeed as a Leader - Book by David S. Maurer
Leadership Essentials - How to Lead with Passion, Pride and Purpose - Book by David S. Maurer