5 Rules for Success: The Mentorship Series
It’s easy to get caught up in the pace of life. The balance. The juggle. The never-ending news cycle that is informing you of the latest and the newest and the must-dos and the gotta-haves.
Sometimes when I am in the middle of figuring out how to apply the latest trend to my approach – that thing that will make my life inarguably better and my business bustle – I take a step back and think, does it have to be this hard?
After my evening with Marv, Bob, and Joe, I am reminded once again that, no, it most definitely does not have to be this hard. We fill our heads with topics that feel insurmountably important. Office politics, and after-school schedules, which of the latest fashions will fill our closet, and who has the biggest house, and what that-person-really-thinks about fill-in-the-blank.
None of these topics are helping us succeed. In fact, all of this modern day, minutiae are outshining the wisdom of simply doing the right thing for the right reasons. By following these simple rules that, Marv, Bob, and Joe have been living and working by for decades, we can all define a life that feels more successful and enriched.
Over steaks, Marv, Bob, Joe, and I defined: The 5 Rules for Enriched Living.
Show Up First
Somewhere along the way, it became cool to be late. Americans love to call themselves busy and showing up late expresses that concept clearly to those around you. However, while you’re trying to tell other people that you’re so busy, what you’re really telling them is that you do not value what they have to offer. They are not as important as the other appointments of your day.
And you just don’t get ahead this way.
One day Bob told me the story of how he used to keep tally marks on the calendar, noting the times and days he beat his mentor into the office. I decided to invoke the same process with him. We continually tried to beat one another into the office every morning. We fondly called our contest “The Sunrise Club.” Our sense of urgency paid off in more than just pride, because Marv would reward the first people in the office every morning with hot leads that he had mined the night before. Landing a new appointment before lunch every day made pushing the snooze button so much less attractive.
Be A Contributor and a Joiner
Networking doesn’t have to be a mystery. It’s simple, really. Be a contributor and a joiner. Marv explained to me, “Join a group that you’re passionate about, not just a group that you think will pay off or put you in front of the right people.”
By contributing to a group in which you have a personal interest, you will reap the rewards. The contacts will be just as good for your personal and professional career, while you will actually have fun networking. As you well know, dear reader, I love helping people in need and fashion. I am a member of The Service Club of Chicago and The Costume Council. I have met some of the most wonderful women – and enjoy the work we do as an organization.
The Power of Please and Thank You
Your mother and father were right. Being polite will never backfire.
Case in point. Marv reminded us of a story where a number of candidates were being interviewed for a new position. Each candidate was green-lighted for a final interview with the executive in charge after meeting with various rungs of power throughout the firm.
The head executive then took each candidate to lunch where casual conversation ensued. Unbeknownst to the candidate, there was only one trait that the executive was on the lookout for. He was counting how many times the candidate said please and thank you throughout the lunch service. No surprise, the candidate who was the most polite was awarded the job.
Who you are is clearly reflected in how you treat others during everyday interactions. The payoff in being polite is never to be underestimated.
Give It Your All
I remember Bob instilling in me from early on: Get organized, have a goal for the day, and never leave the office without making one more call. And he was right. There is no substitute for effort. The secret to success really isn’t such a secret after all.
Then Joe said this: “When I was coming up through the ranks, I had a Mentor myself. The advice that I still think of nearly every day was this: ‘When you get out there, set some meetings, and see people, things begin to happen.’”
Too true. There is no pay-off to phoning it in. Don’t just show up on time – but really show up. As Joe always said, “You can’t get your haircut over the phone!”
Be Really Good.
That’s it. Be good at what you’re doing.
We all, especially as women, have walked into a boardroom full of men and wondered when our membership to the boys club would be issued. It’s easy to busy ourselves with the importance of being one of the guys, but that isn’t how you win respect.
You win respect by being good. Really good. And that goes for men the same as it does for women. I don’t want to be one of the guys. I want to be me and I want to be great at what I do.
Marv always reminded us that if we didn’t believe in what we were doing, if we didn’t like the system we were a part of, then we wouldn’t succeed. And it’s true. If you don’t love it, don’t do it. There is a better career out there for you. But if you do love it, then there is no excuse not to be great at it.
Bob reminded me of another point in our quest to be really good at our jobs. He said: “Find the most successful person you can at your office, and ask them how they do it. Trust the people who are succeeding and follow their lead.” You’ll be a key player in no time.
You don’t have to know everything, but you do need to know what you know, know what you don’t know and know where to find the answers to what you don’t know.
Joe always encouraged me to get industry designations, seek more continuing education and exchange ideas with leaders in the industry. He invited me into a group of seasoned professionals who met each year called the Leader’s Idea Exchange. Each participant got 10 minutes to present their best idea and were required to provide the handout to each attendee. I left with some of the best ideas I still implement today!
Marv Rotter, Bob Greulich, Joe Galvin and their respective companies are separate from LPL and Stonebridge Wealth Advisors LLC