Being a Self-Starter

My yoga coach and mentor instilled in me that it is not what happens to us that determines our future—because what happens, happens to everyone. Rather, he imparted to me that the difference between failure and success is quite subtle. When you look at successful individuals, you discover there was a well thought out plan behind their success. More often than not, they were a self-starter.

Self-starters are not afraid to fail. They know what they want and have a roadmap getting them there, and if needed, they rework their plan. It is the foundation for success.

Two self-starters that I most admire once said: “Always meet your commitments. Do more than is expected of you. Do things faster than expected. Achieve better results than expected. Do all of the above with integrity and with little fanfare.”
― Mark DivineUnbeatable Mind   While Coco Chanel believed “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.  A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous. The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Attributes of a self-starter:

Learning. If you are not constantly studying the industry that you are a part of, or want to be part of, what does that say about you? The key here is that self-starters recognize that there is always more to learn if they want to grow and improve. Moreover, they seek strategic and/or tactical advice, rather than emotional encouragement.

Expectancy. Self-starters demonstrate a “can do” and “will do” attitude. Meaning they take the initiative, complete tasks and come up with strategies in order to improve the organization or team. A positive self-expectancy expresses confidence, skills and the knowledge necessary to perform any task and understand the equilibrium between value created and resources invested.

Attitude. Exude a team-player attitude and work ethic. Be polite and cooperative with your colleagues. Self-starters are social people who revel in being with and working with others. This attitude allows self-starters to accomplish more and sometimes motivate others who are less motivated.

Diligence. Self-starters are conscientious; they pay attention to details. Even when speed may be crucial for some tasks, a conscientious individual puts precision first and produces superior work without constant prodding.

Stagnation. Stagnation is the enemy of being successful and a self-starter. When competing, whether it is sailing, a project for a prospective client, or learning to fly a plane I always keep the finish line in focus; constantly gauging my performance, depending on my teammates, and pushing boundaries in order to surpass the previous results. Stagnation is also a business killer and self-starters know how and when to execute the work themselves, and when to delegate to others. Create a blueprint that is a constant improvement on yesterday.

Failing. Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are forgivable. What’s not forgivable is not owning up to your failures or not learning from them. This is somewhat of a platitude, but it is true. Self-starters do not see failures as a negative but rather part, of the laboratory of achieving success. Additionally, they appreciate, if not welcome, criticism, because it plays a critical role in self-improvement. Remember, safe and boring does not always parallel worthwhile.

In closing, self-starters are driven professionals and key business drivers that keep organizations moving forward with innovative ideas and strong work ethic. Self-starters remain lithe, adaptable, and steadfast in order to achieve their organization’s vision, mission, and goals. Self-starters know the importance of performing to the best of their ability and align to their organization’s top leadership, strategies, methods, and culture.

Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Stop. Think. Connect.

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