Living Your Best Life – Be Fully Present

A smart professional will never underestimate the value of skills that do not require an advanced degree – availability, accountability, and reliability. Trust, these key attributes only demand effort, determination, and integrity. It is the steadfast commitment to being a dependable and trusted source; fully present in the moment with a personal charge of delivering the best version of yourself.

The Professional – 5 Reasons Why Emulating Ben Simmons Won’t Fly in the Workplace

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Well, the NBA season is underway, and it is one of the more anticipated seasons in recent memory. There are a myriad of competitive head-to-head matchups that have fans salivating. This season is also filled with some interesting controversies and headlines that exploded throughout the world of sports before the season even began. One of those controversies involve Ben Simmons and his tumultuous relationship with the Philadelphia 76ers. Following a dreadful playoff performance that witnessed him literally avoid touching the basketball, passing up open shots, and passing immediately to teammates if he did get his fingertips on the ball.

Simmons lost confidence in his shot and was petrified of going to the free throw line. Already a bad free throw shooter at 61%, that average plummeted to a woeful 34% during the playoffs. The Philadelphia fanbase and media were merciless. To be honest, Simmons was shook mentally, and I seriously felt remorse for the guy. I am old enough to remember a similar mental block occur with former NBA star Nick Anderson. However, as bad as the press have been, Simmons has exhibited a glaring lack of accountability and self-awareness. Simmons is fortunate. He is still a superstar with a ton of talent, so he can still be an asset to any team seeking a championship. Nevertheless, the average employee works in the real world absent multimillion dollar contracts, agents, and basketball talent to leverage demands. Exhibiting behavior like Ben Simmons just may get you terminated. Here are some behaviors one should definitely avoid when working in the office.

Bad Work Performance – If you are gainfully employed by a company, there is a logical expectation that you perform your job suitably enough to receive compensation. Now, whether or not those wages are fair & competitive is subject matter for another blog post. Nevertheless, if you are an employee with suspect work ethic and inadequate work performance, a company can reserve the authority to separate you from the business. Unlike Ben Simmons, it is highly doubtful you will be afforded the same opportunity to dial in bad performance after bad performance without meaning repercussions. People also have a self-inflated sense of their worth. Sure, one should always have confidence in oneself. However, you can’t have Craig Ehlo skills with a Michael Jordan attitude.

Lack of Growth & Development – Now, if bad work performance is one issue, lack of self-awareness is certainly another problem. If you are performing poorly at work, management should be providing feedback regarding expectations and suggestions for personal improvement. An ambivalent or otherwise adversarial attitude is not in your best interests. Failing to improve and better yourself will only lead to career stagnation. You don’t want to be viewed as expendable. You must be able to step back and identify your weaknesses if you wan to become a better version of yourself.

No Showing At Work – Unless your company has a union that has strategically planned a walkout or strike, it is in your best interest to show up to work. Failing to show up to work for a certain number of days can be viewed as job abandonment. Unlike Simmons, the average worker cannot skip training camp and the preseason. It is either you show up to work or find other means to make a living.

Alienating Coworkers – It is not unusual for an employee to have some sort of beef with management. However, if you have bad relationships with your coworkers, you could possibly be contributing to a toxic environment. No one wants to work with a malcontent. If you are a disruption to the mission, vision, and team; management will sooner sever all ties with you for the good of the team. This is known as addition by subtraction – removing a cancer from the team in order to move in a positive, constructive direction. 

Insubordination and Disrespectful Behavior – To be sure, there is a chain of command in the workplace. And unless you are at the top of that chain, an employee has a leader to whom they report. Noncompliance with a directive from leadership is a surefire way to earn a pink slip. Disrespecting your leadership is a surefire way to earn a pink slip.

I understand that some of these points may not be popular, but this needs to be read by someone. Because, as social media and celebrity figures continue to influence and empower, the every day employee may believe they can operate like said celebrity. That is simply not the case in the real world. And as Dave Chappelle alluded to in his latest Netflix special, but in a different context, Twitter is not a real place. And thinking you can move like the famous or people who are social media famous might get you fired. My suggestion: Go to work and be fully present. Practice some self-reflection and humility as you become the best version of yourself. Ensure that you build meaningful relationships and respect leadership. And if the fit is not right for you; seek other opportunities in a professional manner. 

The Standard #52

If I have gleaned any knowledge working within the confines of the corporate world, it would definitely be understanding the necessity of having a strong network in my selected area of employment. Undoubtedly naive, my entry into the corporate environment commenced with an incorrect belief; a trust that hard work alone would translate to acknowledgment and then advancement. I was seriously mistaken. The knowledge and work performance a gentleman wields within the workplace are just as important as the individuals a gentleman knows within the workplace. To be certain, deftly weaving a tight tapestry of professional connections can help progress a gentleman’s career and provide outlets to a myriad of opportunities that may nurture both professional and personal growth. I am quiet by nature, but being locked down in my cubicle studiously working under the radar was not doing me any favors. To provide my career with a much-needed injection of significant development, I needed a great deal more than labor alone.

Now, I can credit 4 colleagues – all in management – that encouraged me to stretch beyond my comfort zone and seriously consider advancing my career within the company. The first step was discovering my voice, volunteering for projects, and increasing my visibility within supply chain management. As I stated before, I am a natural introvert, so communicating my thoughts aloud to other individuals was challenging. Nevertheless, the more I spoke in open forums and collaborated with other people, I began to feel more at ease with being more vocal. If you want to advance your career in a meaningful fashion, I strongly encourage the exercise of extending yourself beyond your comfort level. A gentleman should identify individuals that will readily exchange valuable skills & insight, embrace stretch assignments, and actively collaborate with persons he wouldn’t necessarily engage with normally. Think of it as a human portfolio that boasts an intellectual diversification suited for professional and personal growth. Success is not procured within a vacuum, it is nurtured within an environment of varied thought, experience, and learned guidance.

Someone you know needs to read this, so share if you care. Empower and encourage someone today.

The Standard #37

Rest assured, the successful gentleman is never content with static movement in regard to his professional career. He continuously seeks opportunities for advanced growth that will cultivate and promote an ever-expanding, internal knowledge base. Moreover, rest assured, the successful gentleman is never an active participant in his own professional or personal limitations. Being average – at best – is never a standard that is tacitly sought or readily accepted. Eagerly accepting a personal challenge for greatness, he sets the standard by which all others will be measured against, as he is devoutly dedicated to adding value to his life. And empowered with a clearly defined purpose, he ensures that his education never succumbs to restriction and halts. Constantly learning, constantly evolving; this gentleman understands the sacrifice that is required. It may mean accepting projects foreign to his current job description. It may mean late evenings filled with laborious research and reading. It may mean forgoing some sleep or outings with friends. Nonetheless, your trade must be perfected and your personal best must be cultivated. Plying your craft, increasing one’s knowledge in a given profession is paramount. With each drifting day arrives another prime opportunity to learn anew. So, what have you learned today?

Someone you know needs to read this, so share if you care. Empower and encourage someone today.

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