On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
Make Self Control Your Habit
THE more people you know; the more people know you positively, the more successful you will be at whatever you do. One person, at the right time, in the right place, can open the door for you that can change your life and save your decades of hard work. There are three categories of people whose help you will require throughout your life. These are people in and around your business. The people around your family, friends and the groups in your social circle. For success, you must develop the strategy to work effectively with each group. In meeting them, make self control your behavioural habit.
Success isn’t measured by your attainments in life. Success is measured by how many obstacles you have overcome. Thus, how many hostile customers have you converted? In this case, a customer is defined as any one who depends on you in any way. Also, anyone who you depend upon for success and advancement in life is your customer. Therefore, your entire business life revolves around customer service. At work, your boss is your primary customer. Your penchant at satisfying him will have incalculable impact on your future, your income, and your career more than any single skill you may have.
In a survey reported in success magazine in 2010, 105 chief executive officers (CEOs) were presented with twenty qualities of an ideal employee, they were asked to select the most important quality. Eighty-six per cent of the CEOs selected two qualities as being more important than others. First was the ability to set priorities, to identify the relevant from the irrelevant.
Second was the ability to get the job done fast, to execute assignments quickly. Nothing will help you in your career better than the reputation of being an unfailing workman, one who gets his job done quickly and well.
Helping others, helping your coworkers who are your customers are the key to successful living. The law of sowing and reaping isn’t the law of Reaping and Sowing. There is a particular order to this law. First you put in your effort, then you gain from your effort. First you sow, then you reap. Every honest effort you make to help others will be rewarded in droves, when you do not expect it. The most popular people in a company are those willing helpers of others. By developing a reputation as a go-getter and a giver, you get paid by life faster, promoted faster and you gain the trust of your customers for life.
It is in your own interest to become a team player. In a decade’s study at Stanford University, USA, researchers found that the ability to function well as part of a team was the most outwardly identifiable quality of a person marked for rapid advancement. Team dynamics are interesting. First, only 20 per cent of a team’s members do 80 per cent of the work. The others contribute very little to the kitty. You are to become one of the top 20 per cent. To be a good team player, always attend every meeting prepared. Sit opposite, in direct eye contact with the chairman of a meeting. Ask questions and volunteer for assignments. Always discharge your duties quickly and efficiently whenever you are assigned to do so.
Being dependable is the most important virtue. You will attract a force field of energy around yourself by developing a reputation for being the person everyone can depend upon to get his job done. Thus, you will be given bigger and better jobs by the authorities with the rewards that go with them. Later you will be amazed the differences they will make in your career. In every organization, the person who knows the most people is the person who rises to the top. So you must invest in relationship building.
Networking with customers is the best strategy of expanding your career relationships. Fully 85 per cent of career positions are filled by word of mouth and personal contact in America. The more people know you as a man of valour in your industry, the more doors of opportunity will open for you when the time is right. In taking a long-term perspective of your career, you make a list of prominent people in your community. Jot down their names and titles, write them letters pertaining to your views of their public profiles. Each time you see a reason to communicate with them, do so. Write a letter to an executive who has just done something noteworthy that was reported in the press. For example as a sportsmaster of Oranyan Grammar School, Oyo in the 1960s, I invited Prince Lamidi Adeyemi, as he then was, to chair one of our sports meetings. I delivered the letter personally. He was unable to attend. In the 1980s long after he had become the Alaafin of Oyo, I accompanied my friend, the late Dr. Hamed Kusamotu to visit Chief Akin Davies, one of Kusamotu’s mentors; we met the Alaafin there. When I mentioned the sports invitation, the Kabiyesi remembered. A friendship blossomed from it, and he has become one of my greatest benefactors ever since.
Our champion this week is Earl Frederick Edwin Smith Birkenhead, the first earl Birkenhead. His byname until 1919 was Baron Birkenhead. He was the British statesman, lawyer and orator, as Lord Chancellor (minister of justice) he sponsored major legal reforms and negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. Born Frederick Smith in July 1872 in Birkenhead England, he graduated from Wadham College, Oxford in 1895. He taught law at Oxford until 1899 when he was called to the bar and started practicing law in Liverpool. Elected into the House of Commons from Liverpool in 1906, he attracted public attention as a forensic orator. Smith soon became a leader of the Conservative Party. Sympathizing with his numerous Irish Protestant constituents, he favoured the exclusion of Ulster from Irish Home Rule. He was solicitor-general in Herbert Asquith’s ministry in 1915. In the same year he succeeded his friend the Ulster leader Sir Edward Carson as Attorney-General. When Lloyd George became premier in 1917, he offered Smith the lord chancellorship, which he as Baron Birkenhead assumed in February 1919. His greatest accomplishments were the Property Act of 1922, the Real Property Statutes of 1925, the County Courts Act of 1924 and the Supreme Court of Judicature Act of 1925, which reformed the largely medieval system of laws. He died in September 1930.