I’ll be honest - I’m a first time blogger at the upper end of the YP age group – almost an OP. When I was invited to be a guest blogger, I struggled with what might keep everyone interested. What kind of fabulous wisdom could I possibly impart that would keep people on the edge of their seats?
I guess before I dive into this whole blog thing, I should share a little information about myself. I’ll celebrate my 8th annual 30th birthday this year. I have 2 children, a husband and a dog…I’m the only female in the house. J
In my work life, I both fell into and fell in love with the hospitality industry. I’ve worked at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa for almost 10 years. I started out as a receptionist and have worked my way up to my current role as Associate Director of Sales. I lead a team of six sales professionals and we are responsible for about 70 percent of resort business each year.
For my YP Involvement, my first event was the very first YP Education Conference. I knew right then that I wanted to be more involved with the educational aspect and served as Chair for the last three YP Education Conferences.
OK, let’s do this – here are the top eight things I’ve learned along the way and things I wish I would’ve known:
1. Take care of your own professional development. The more you learn and the more you surround yourself with other intelligent people, the more you’ll be able to give back to your team when you’re a leader.
2. Try to see the good in people. I know, it sounds very Disney of me and I’m not a “rose-colored glasses” kind of girl. But we all have bad days, rough starts, and things going on at home that affect our day. Try to see past that when someone is taking out their bad day on you and just give your biggest smile…what can you do to make their day better? You could make someone’s day!
3. Work/Life Balance. That’s funny. Really, what I’ve learned about balance is this: Discover your ability to say “no.” You don’t have to go to every cocktail reception, volunteer for every event and sit on 52 boards. You’ll end up spreading yourself thin and not making a difference anywhere. Choose the one or two organizations that will better you as a professional and individual and then pour your heart into it. Your family will thank you and your career will be better off.
4. Support the people around you. In general, be nice. Positive attitude is mandatory. Good leaders don’t claw their way to the top. They’re taken to the top by the team that carries them there.
5. Be the new guy. Not the “I’m lost, where’s the bathroom?” new guy. What I mean is, never lose that excitement you had on the first day. Important for any job - especially important in the Sales and Marketing world. If you’re not excited about what you’re doing, neither are your customers.
6. Treat people as individuals. I’ve learned it’s not possible to be fair to everyone treating them as a lump sum group. Each person has their own unique traits, or life things that are important to them. Recognize and value what makes your team members individuals and you’ll function better as a team.
7. Take care of your health, mind and body. Step away from your desk, work out, take a vacation. Make working 70 hours a week the exception and not the norm. Respect yourself and value your own time. Your family will thank you and you’re showing your children, our future YPs, the respect they should give themselves before they can take care of others. Your co-workers will thank you too. They’ll thank you for being able to make a clear decision because your mind isn’t foggy from sitting at your desk for 10 hours straight. You’re refreshed and ready to conquer the day.
8. Understand your own limitations and recognize that some people are better at certain things than you. It’s OK to not be able to do it all. It’s OK to ask for help from your team. It’s OK to not be the very best at everything. It comes back to the recognizing individuals item above – we all have our strengths. The strongest teams recognize that and capitalize on the strengths of the individuals, ultimately leaving their weaknesses behind.
I know, a Top 10 is typically the “norm” for lists. But I learned that as a blogger, you should never go over one page which I’ve already done here.
See? Learning things and still breaking the rules! J