Last month, I asked my email subscribers a question: What do you know now that you wish you knew then? (and wish you did). Imagine you are having a coffee with a younger version of yourself. What would you say? (If you still feel that you are the younger self… what would you ask the future you?)
I will be publishing a couple of the answers as I have really benefitted from the wonderful answers over the last 6 weeks. Check out Lesley’s answer.
I am interested in these answers because I am in the process of preparing a speech to 1,600 undergraduates who are on the point of transition between the world of university and the world of work and building a career.
Fiamma’s Answer: What A Marketing Entrepreneur Would Say
Regarding your question about what do I know now that wish I knew then , there are 3 important things that I have learnt:
1. Listen to what people don’t say
Emotions play a substantial role in communications making most part of relevant messages non-verbal. Moreover, we’re losing information in all our technological communications – for this an extra effort to listen to what people don’t say is needed in order to never miss the whole context.
2. Appreciate Failure.
Failure in a big company is a shared a responsibility and a learning experience for everyone. Failure offers huge thriving opportunities when you and those around you decide that a part of success is working through failed processes and learning from it. The US military systematically makes this part of their culture. After every project or exercise, they conduct “after action reviews” that are very harsh and ignore hierarchy in seeking what happened, what broke and how to fix it. All project members from most junior to most senior are involved fully in the review.
And Most Important:
3. You Own Your Reputation
The most difficult thing to manage in a company are people, at all levels. Jealousy happens all the time, to unexpected people.
This is, even great leaders have shadows in their brightness. Making work mates or close managers green with envy can be quite common, suffering inappropriate comments, childish reactions or even disrespectful situations. Of course, time puts things in their place if you maintain firm, respectful and coherent… How can it be that the one that treated you the worst at work is now the one that recommends you on Linkedin and sends you birthday wishes 6 years after you left that job?
However, weird reactions from bosses are something extraordinary you can’t imagine and would never expect… In this case being firm and coherent to protect yourself is very tough; integrity, energy and emotional intelligence play a relevant role. For this, never lose control of your reputation, don’t let anyone’s opinion (even the CEO!) define how you are and play with your values or your reputation.
About Fiamma Panerai
Fiamma loves transforming insights into strategic ideas and make them happen with passion and disciplined execution. As a person: “what you see is what you get”! Fiamma enjoy’s life in Madrid and makes sure fun is a part of every day.
You should follow Fiamma on twitter @FiPanerai or learn more about her on LinkedIn.