I’ve been very fortunate to have been steadily employed in the financial industry for the last 40 years. By fortunate, I mean that I never applied for a job in the financial industry until 2014, and then it was in connection with the acquisition of the bank I was working at by another bank that required me to fill out a job application and go through a vetting process to continue employment. Prior to that date, all the way back to 1976, every job I held in the financial industry was by invitation or recruitment. Being fortunate has been one of the reasons behind how I got to where I am today.
I worked hard. All day, every day, always worked hard. In the office early, then, usually one of the last ones leaving at night. During most of my career, I worked long hours, every day. 10 hour work days were the norm, 11 to 12 hours a day to get the job done. Every boss I ever had appreciated the fact that I worked hard and was willing to put the long hours in to get the job done. Working hard has been one of the reasons behind how I got to where I am today.I always strive to be excellent at whatever I was doing. I didn’t settle for just getting the job done, I tried to always get it done right, the first time. This saves time and effort, so you can move on to the next job quickly and efficiently. I not only wanted to be personally excellent, I wanted my clients, my members, to be the best they could be. I created a genuine desire to be excellent for their benefit and mine. Striving to be excellent at whatever I was doing has been one of the reasons how I got to where I am today.
I challenged myself to do different things, things I was unfamiliar with or even if I was slightly apprehensive to take these things on. I challenged myself to expand my personal and professional horizons. Expand my horizons both in the office and in the communities I have been fortunate enough to live in. I volunteered, I led charitable organizations, I ran for city council, I negotiated labor contracts, I mediated between groups. I built my network of friends and experiences. It made me grow, it kept me fresh. Challenging myself was one of the reasons how I got to where I am today.
I listened, learned to listen to what others around me were saying, I listened to understand what others really wanted. It has always been easier to deliver something if I knew what was wanted. Listening with my mouth shut and without pre-judgment is one of the reasons how I got to where I am today.