Filed under: advantage, advice, Business, initiative, internships, kevin roberts, saatchi
You’ve heard the saying – There’s no I in team.
And that’s entirely true. There are, however, four i’s in Initiative.
Initiative comes from oneself. It comes from within. Everyday, people are given opportunities. In many situations people are given the same opportunities. However, the lack of initiative sees many of these opportunities float by and disappear. When these opportunities become available, you must be confident and take action. Who knows, something might come out of it. Andy’s recent post is the perfect example of this happening in the real world.
Initiative is rewarded. Managers tend to favor the employees who go that “extra mile”, who take initiative to do more than what is expected of them. And in many cases, these employees are rewarded for their hard work. From a manager’s perspective, wouldn’t you want somebody working for you to go that extra mile?
An example from my life:
From June until August I had the opportunity to work at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York City. The New York office of Saatchi also happens to be the worldwide headquarters. After reading Kevin Robert’s book, I became fascinated by his perspective and told myself that I would try my hardest to meet him at Saatchi (a seemingly impossible task as I was told). All of the interns had the same opportunities. They were in the same building, had the same schedule, same access. Essentially everything was the same. On quite a few occasions I took the initiative to take a break and wander around the office a little, visiting a few different floors. On one of these days, Kevin was in his office reading the paper. My efforts had been rewarded. On top of that, I had asked if I could have a few words with Kevin. Once again, I took the initiative and was rewarded. Although our chat was only a few minutes long, I had proven to myself that with strong initiative come large rewards.
“The right man is the one who seizes the moment.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
When was a time when you showed some initiative?
As the new school year begins (or has begun for some students), it’s always important to start thinking ahead.
Whether it be during the school year or during term breaks (winter/summer), internships are one of the most important things a student in college must do before he/she graduates. Think of it as a scrimmage game before the start of the real game. You have a chance to do a variety of things.
2. Learn More
3. Take and create opportunities
3. Make mistakes (and learn from them)
4. Gain confidence in your field/work, as well as confidence in communicating and working with a strong team
5. Decide what you want to do with your life
Many people don’t realize that an internship’s learning experience also entails learning what you want to accomplish in the future. If you work an internship in your field and hate it, you can come back to school after the summer/winter term and fine-tune your majors. It is substantially more difficult to do that once you have started working full time.
Just remember, learn everything you can and take advantages of the opportunities offered by these internships.
This concept is not new in the world of business, and after reading Andy Drish’s Blog entry about things he had learned during his internship, I decided to build on this idea.
You, Inc. is a strong step for a student still in college in terms of growing maturity and accountability for one’s actions. This is especially essential during experiences such as Andy’s, when being surrounded by not only professionals and future employers, but people you may look up to.
In the ever changing world today, I believe the first step in developing your own personal brand is by outlining your beliefs and values. One of my colleagues at my internship mentioned that as long as one works, they must never compromise their values. Just like a brand must effectively develop its foundations before sending out their message, You have to do that too. By getting a grasp of these values, you can project a stronger image of themselves by focusing on the strengths.
After identifying these values, it’s important to keep them consistent. On top of that, it is also essential for you to follow through on all of these beliefs. If you determine that you value punctuality, don’t be late. If you value respect for all people, don’t be condescending to anyone.
Personal branding can also be taken to the extent of creating a personal website or blog, and applying the color scheme or style of the site to one’s business cards. Martin Lindstrom mentioned that one of the strongest aspects of brands is consistency (example: the Pentium tune has been in every commercial since 1990). A personal website is also a great place to conveniently place a resume for people to access.
Why is a personal brand important?
Because just like with any other brand in the world, people talk. If the engine of a car with a 10 year warranty randomly explodes, it will be the talk of the car industry. This is the same in terms of You, Inc. If you underperform or fail to deliver on a task, people will notice. They will talk about it, and believe me it will not be good.
Think of it this way.
Why would anybody support Ford if their trucks started falling apart? (contrary to their “Built Tough” tagline)
Why would anybody support YOU if you fail to deliver on your promise?
Filed under: advertising, advice, america, betsy ross, Business, civil war, flag, internships, learning, Saatchi & Saatchi
The 4 P’s.
I had the honor of sitting down with John Bowman, the Executive Group Planning Director here at Saatchi & Saatchi, for a few minutes the other day. After discussing a few things, John mentioned two stories which I have taken to heart. First, he talked about his heritage and how proud it makes him. According to the oral history passed down from generation to generation, his relatives lived on a farm in the countryside. During the American Revolution, his ancestor’s husband was killed. She was a seamstress, and proceeded to continue her husband’s legacy (rather than fleeing back to her family). She sewed flags for ships in the first colonial Navy, and when asked to sew a flag for the Commodore’s ship, she created it. Yes, Betsy Ross sewed the first flag of the United States of America. What a reason to be proud!!!
The second story which John explained to me was his own journey into his position. As an English major, John wanted to write. Going into the advertising industry, he began in the traffic department, but soon managed to zig-zag his way into the position he currently holds. He mentioned that the instability of the advertising industry hinders the idea that there is a straight line between a person and their ultimate career goal. Which brings me to the point of this post. (Thank you John, for meeting with me and providing wonderful insight)
Without Passion for writing and the advertising industry, and without Perseverance, John would have not been able to reach his goals as effectively as he has done. Just like Betsy Ross, when faced with great tragedy, was able to take her Passion and Perseverance to become one of the most influential people in American society.
How have you utilized the 4 P’s in your life?
Cliche as it may sound, it’s true. Somehow, life has a way to reward people for their initiative and persistence. At the end of the day you may not be able to change your situation, but you are still able to make the best of it. And if you’re good, you can make a Lemon Vodka Martini out of your lemons.
The first thing that’s important is to understand the fact that you are in charge of the way you perceive the world. The glass can be half full or half empty. It’s your choice. This is exactly the reason why people who complain about boredom annoy me. You are the only thing standing between boredom and not boredom. All it takes is creativity.
With this in mind, make sure you always make the best of your situation, particularly at an internship. I have had the opportunity of interning at Saatchi & Saatchi this summer, and I believe I have done my best from helping run errands to marketing my skill set to others. In the past two months at Saatchi, all of the interns were given the exact same opportunity: to work at a respected global advertising agency and gain experience. Whether this would mean that the summer was spent partying and coming into work hungover, diligently working or balancing both, it was all up to the person. Because remember, it’s your decision.
Just like it’s your decision to sit and pout about the lemons. Or make lemonade. Or, in some cases, make Lemon Vodka Martinis. More about those later…
How are you taking advantage of your lemons?