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Skills to Succeed In Life

Skills to Succeed In Life

Originally published on 1-19-12

I have been lucky enough to have a few wise mentors in my life, who have thoughtfully guided me through life.  And while even they have not been exempt from my constant challenging and questioning, I have trusted their judgment and good intentions for my life.  One of these mentors came into my life in the form of a restaurant General Manager. He taught me the skills I needed to succeed in life. 

He hired me, bright eyed and bushy tailed (I wore a suit and 2 inch black pumps to the interview for an $8.00 an hour position, I wince thinking about it), as a hostess at a fabulous, high energy, see and be seen kind of restaurant.  It was there in that new, exciting environment that my General Manager taught me workplace philosophies.  (Eventually I was smart enough to apply these nuggets of wisdom to real life.)

·       Treat everyone like rock star.  The grandma who is eating a $12 appetizer as her entree is just as important as the dignitary sitting at the table beside her.  Every customer should have a memorable experience. 

·       A rose is either growing or dying. Which I eventually turned into (after a few glasses of wine with my brothers), “If you’re not doing your best, then you’re wasting your fucking time.”  No need to be idle.  Keep the wheels moving forward. 

·       Invest in the people you work with. Genuinely care about their lives and their families, in turn, they will care about you. 

And my absolute favorite….

·       Run faster, jump higher!!  No matter where you land in your organization’s hierarchy, from dish washer to General Manager, if you show up ready to work and give it your all, if you attack the day and accomplish tasks with effectiveness and efficiency, it is truly a force multiplier.

Run faster, jump higher than those around you. Remember every customer’s name and their table preference, take dirty dishes to the dish pit while wearing a suit, pick up dirty napkins from the floor (even though it’s technically not in your job description), run to the corner store and buy a bottle of ranch dressing for a customer who insists of having it; however small the gesture, help your team get out of the weeds.  Go above and beyond, every day, and every night.  When your feet are throbbing from standing for 12 hours straight, and running countless trays of steak and lobster, and all you’ve really had to eat is an espresso (that counts as food sometimes, right?), run faster, jump higher.

The secret is you have to run faster and jump higher with sincerity and conviction.  Your intentions have to be authentic.  If you’re phony, people can smell you coming from a mile away. 

Keep growing, invest in people, work hard - three skills you need to succeed in the workplace and in life. 


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