Daydreaming. You have to love daydreaming. It doesn’t require hard work, commitment, or sacrifice. You just lean back, close your eyes, and you can become whatever you want. However, we all know that when reality sets in, you realize it is not that easy. A lot of work goes into getting to the next level. Most of us know that the grass is not always greener. Daydreaming may help you visualize your goal, but it takes a great deal of hard work and continuous learning to get there.
I was with a bunch of daydreamers this week. I attended a Learning Day with the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) with over 150 practitioners, vendors, LPF board members, and students of the University of Indianapolis (the host school). If you want a shot in the arm, go to a Learning Day or career day or speak to a criminal justice class at any school. It will make your day.
Trying Harder. That is the answer to a question by a young person on how to get ahead. If you want to succeed in loss prevention, you need to outwork most others. This applies to your self-education as much as your work product, thus the values of certifications like LPC, LPQ, and CFI. You cannot view what you do as a job, but as what you want to do more than anything else. If you see it as your calling, then it is not a work sacrifice but a positive experience that makes you feel good.
Associating with the Right People. It is true that your whole career will be shaped your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day. But how do you know you are with the “right people?” I use a very simple rule—they make me feel good, positive, upbeat, and I have no fear of what they might do in our relationship. I trust them. Ask yourself: do you believe that if you give of yourself with no expectation of return, the more will come back to you from the most unexpected sources? Do you seek to be trusted, admired, and respected as a person and a professional? Do you invest the time and emotion necessary to maintain a high-quality home life? Do you treat others with kindness, courtesy, and compassion? Do you really? If so, then you are the right person trying to associate with the right people.
Things Are Seldom as They Seem. Did you ever hear or see a professional wrestler named Dusty Rhodes, known as “The American Dream?” You might think he was a low life, uneducated thug who made a living in a phony sport. Well, there was nothing phony about The Dream. He was a bright and caring person who regarded his profession as entertainment. He spoke on several occasions to groups of LP professionals. He offered the groups straight talk and a message that all of us in LP can use.
Dusty would say, “First you must be appreciative, be sensitive, and go out of your way to understand the diversity of others. The real value of diversity is in the collection of diverse ideas and applying them to the team strategy. Each little idea, diverse thought, and personal contribution by others makes for a committed team of doers and success stories.”
Second, Dusty spoke of managing others and how important it is to reach down to the lowest level in your organization to get to know your people. Talk with them about personal things that show them you care about them as a person. Tell them, “Happy Birthday.” Ask, “How’s your family?” or “Is there anything I can do to help?”
Lastly, Dusty spoke of family. Early in his career he admitted that he had not done a good job of being a father and supporting his family. Being so selfishly driven in your career can cause you to miss the importance of balancing the personal and business aspects of life.
My, my. A professional wrestler said these things, and they make sense. Things are seldom as they seem. Dusty makes me think that all of us can be “The American Dream.”
Fear Is Natural. Regardless of how tough or good you are, fear is natural. If you are not feeling a little fear, you are probably playing it too safe, and that should be enough right there to scare you. When you are feeling depressed or full of outright fear of failure, step back and think of your past successes. I believe we all must adhere to a core belief to guide us both professionally and personally. Audacity, audacity, always audacity. You can never be fearful to act promptly and decisively on reasoned, calculated risks.