4 Years In

Wow, I am quickly approaching the 4 year mark at Monumental Sports in a couple of weeks. Similar to years’ past, 4 years in, 4 more lessons learned.

Good Work for the Sake of Good Work

Wanting credit for everything you work on is a natural feeling, but it’s not always going to happen. Here’s a quote I’ve always loved:

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” – Henry Ford

I went through a major departmental change this past year as our organization realigned many internal silos. It was a good decision from a data perspective that I was on-board with, but there were moments in which I wasn’t sure whether the work I had tirelessly worked on was known or fully understood during the shifts. I had a few choices in the moment – focus on the high-profile work that would be quickly realized, or focus on the work that may not be as recognized, but was arguably the most imperative for future business operations. In the end I chose the latter and I’m glad I did it. It may not have been the most glamorous or “in-the-spotlight” work, but it meant focusing on the right things that lead my department to having a tangibly successful year.

Do good work even if it isn’t always going to be recognized.

Find the Right People

I’ve had good fortune in my career to work with a lot of hard-working individuals. Each bringing their unique strengths and perspectives to the business challenges in front of us. This past year I transitioned into a larger opportunity in a centrally focused revenue building position, and was able to hire a new team while building out a new department. Needless to say, I was in need of superstars, and superstars is what I hired. I’ve always thrived on the idea that if I’m the smartest person in the room, I’m in the wrong room. Rather, when I’m being pushed and learning from those around me, that’s when I’m at my best. The team I’ve been able to build here compliments one another well, and we’ve been able to accomplish more than anyone expected. The secret? It started with finding the right people.

Don’t Be a Pushover

What type of person do you want to be at work? Is it the hard-ass who will fight for every inch of ground throughout the day? Is it the strategic thinker that recognizes some battles must be lost in order to win the war? Is it being the type of boss who rules in love or fear? Likely, it’s somewhere in-between all of these things.

Regardless of whomever you are or choose to be, don’t be a pushover, stand-up for yourself, those around you, and don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Now what exactly does this mean? It could mean just about anything depending on the context.

Time Teller or Clock Builder?

 I heard a great analogy just last week that I immediately adopted and want to write about here.

If you had the choice, would you rather hire a time-teller or clock builder?

A time-teller always knows the exact time down to the second at a moment’s notice. A time-teller is the knower of everything. They are the smartest person in the room at every meeting and behind-the-scenes. They can make the right decision in any moment and lead the team and organization in the best of ways. Eventually however, a time-tell dies, or as it relates to business in this analogy, they move on to another job or career, retire, or simply move on to other ventures.

A clock builder on the other hand creates a mechanism in which tells accurate time, down to the second, to everyone, even long after the clock builder moves on.

From a business perspective, a clock builder is an individual who lays the groundwork and creates a path for success that anyone can follow, even long after they are no longer at the firm. A time-teller may be equally successful while employed, but they aren’t the individuals who help create long term success for firms through installing best practices that can be repeated after they are gone.

I recommend striving to be a clock builder.

With a major year of internal organization change behind me, I’m left with greater insight into the components of what it takes to be successful. Speaking of which, how does one define success…