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In all my years in this industry, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t want to be successful. I consider myself a lifelong student—lots of leadership learning and always willing to try new things—and with this experience, I believe the fundamental principles of success are:

You are the author of your future. I bet you can trace your career path to key choices you made throughout life. In response to various business circumstances, such as reorganizations, acquisitions, promotions or good and bad project performance, I’ve noticed that people seem to fall into two camps. Employee A is positive, curious, looking forward, embracing opportunities and taking charge in the new future. Employee B condemns, complains and dwells in the past. It’s important to realize you are the author of your future through the choices you make.

Have a win-win attitude. The best professional leadership book I’ve ever read is Stephen R. Covey’s classic “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which taught me that choosing to have a win-win attitude and an abundance mentality is critical in life, let alone business. I call it “growing the pie.” In a win-lose world, the pie stays the same size, and for you to have more, someone else must have less. In the world of the abundance mentality, you grow the pie, so everyone’s slice gets bigger—meaning everyone wins.

Help everyone around you be successful. I believe that if everyone on your team—your clients, your business partners, your fellow employees—is successful, it’s nearly impossible for you to lose in the long run. The best projects I have worked on, the most profitable, the best performing in terms of safety, budget and schedule, and ones of which I’m most proud—are those where everyone involved achieved success. If you want to be successful and achieve your career dreams, help everyone around you achieve theirs. Everyone will want to work with you, and even for you.

Leadership consultant Alan Medville defines leadership as “the authentic expression of who you are in such a way that creates the conditions for others to achieve.” Along those lines, Stephen Covey writes that “leadership is a choice, not a position.”

Imagine working for a company and in an industry where everyone owns their own future, leads with a win-win attitude and helps the people around them achieve success. It’s as simple as saying yes—because the choice is yours.


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