Many believe that career success comes from applying “new school”.
I’m here to tell you that not only is this notion terribly misleading, it’s absolute nonsense!
Sure, the web is here accompanied by new enabling business tools.
SEO, social media, web site analytics and others have been invented to help organizations exploit the capabilities of the connected world.
And these capabilities have created the demand for many new skill sets that weren’t required only a few years ago.
But staring down at the e-world and the tools that cloak it are the “old school” business basics that haven’t changed:
- Create a sustainable competitive advantage.
- Serve customers in an exemplary fashion.
- Offer relevant and compelling personalized solutions
- Build a loyal base of customers.
Successful people aren’t successful because they have mastered “new school” fundamentals, they are successful because they have learned to achieve the business basics more effectively than everyone else.
These are the “newer than new school” professionals who:
1. Never mention their academic pedigree
They don’t see it as an important determinant of success. Rather they understand that academic achievement is merely the “cost of entry” to the career game.
2. Constantly look for opportunities to do something remarkable
They are on the on the lookout for new opportunities rather than comply with traditional methods.They look at everything they are asked to do through a “How can I do this differently?” lens.
3. Strategically micromanage tactics that require their personal fingerprints.
They don’t believe in uncontrolled handoffs; they understand where the line is between functional delegation and abdication.
4. Don’t play internal politics
They don’t need to. They deliver and let their results speak for themselves. Note – this can be a risk in certain organizations, so tread carefully.
5. Are amazing team players (on a team of divergents)
They seek like minded individuals and support them to the end. But they don’t suffer “compliant fools” lightly.
6. Make decisions FAST
They are impatient with the consensus building process and will do what it takes to circumvent it.
While some people are spending valuable time watering down the plan to satisfy everyone, the newer-than- new-schoolers want to execute and learn from imperfection.
7. Reject “best practices”
The notion of copying is repugnant to them. They are motivated to lead the innovation curve and CREATE best practices that others can copy. They divert from trend line thinking and NEVER follow common direction – their natural inclination is to do 180 degrees to what is “normal”.
8. Are fans of “tries”
They understand that the more tries you make the more winners you have. A corollary to this is that “the newer ones” don’t get caught up in “paralysis by analysis” which results from too much study and not enough action.
In the long run, “the newer ones” emerge as the successful ones because they focus on how to achieve business basics rather than on applying the gee whiz tools of the interconnected world.