In my roles as a visiting faculty and an adjunct professor in several management institutes for over a decade, I have been preaching my students, entrepreneurs, mentees, and young company executives to develop, among others, the following five essential attributes in their personality so that they can excel in furtherance of their personal and professional goals. I call them “magic wands” because, like in the Disney movie, where the godmother transforms Cinderella for the ball, these can transform you for your professional life.
I did not create these rules, nor did I find them in any book. When I was in my late 20s working as a Project Engineer in one of the large Indian public sector undertaking (PSU), I came across a circular letter from the Chairman of that PSU meant for wide circulation among all the employees across India. The letter aimed at empowering, engaging, and motivating all employees across all offices and operational units of that PSU across India. That day, I had picked these 5 golden rules from our Chairman’s letter and I have been adhering to these since then. Today, almost four decades later, I am sharing the same rules with my readers.
Let me introduce these 5 magic wands to you – these can catapult your life by several notches.
Effectiveness & Efficiency in Action
I have spoken about this before in a previous post. Being effective means that you know what is necessary and important for you to do at any time. However, being efficient means working in the right manner so that you complete the work using minimum resources. Effectiveness means doing the right things, but efficiency refers to doing things right.
Brevity in Expression
Brevity means being concise, using fewer words in speaking, reducing the duration of a speech, and bringing about compactness in expression. But the brevity in expression should not mean a loss of clarity. It is the art of presenting your viewpoint with due economy of words without missing important details. A man of few (impactful) words is perceived as a man of wisdom.
Firmness in Decisions
Whether a decision is taken in autocratic mode or participative mode, the decision-maker must consider all relevant aspects relating to the implementation of the decision(s) and the impact that the decision is going to have on the organization and its people. However, once the decision has been frozen, the decision maker should not be on the fence and/or get tempted by other distracting views. Unless there are compelling reasons to do so, do not review your decisions. A competent executive must learn to say ‘No’ sometimes.
Courtesy in Behaviour
I guess it goes without saying, but it is seldom practised. Hence, it remains valuable. One must be extremely courteous in our behaviour to our superiors, peers, and subordinates. We must understand, interpret, and regulate our own emotions as also the emotions of others to improve our behaviour as an individual (attitude and personality), as a team member, and as a team leader.
Tact in Handling Delicate Situations
I have written about an example from my life to demonstrate the importance of this value earlier. There are many situations in our personal as well as professional life that require extreme care and sensitivity in handling and managing them. These situations may relate to estranged family relationships, conflict among partners, an irate customer, your boss being unhappy with your performance, and so one. In all such situations, one must be very tactful, get into other person’s shoes, assess the environmental conditions very well and then only plan his/her move.
Believe me – these 5 attributes can work wonders and enhance chances of your success as also acceptance of your ideas, contentions, and suggestions by various stakeholders. These attributes could be applied to your daily life, in all personal and professional situations including various events, plans, programs, and projects undertaken by you.