A Thing
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The Green Sheet Online Edition

August 13, 2012 • Issue 12:08:01

Fifty little things I've learned

By Jeff Broudy
Total Merchant Services

My first real job was with a national accounting firm over 25 years ago. Since then, I've worked with a lot of great (and not so great) people whom I continue to learn from every day. Following is a list of the little things I've learned that have helped me, and others, during my career. I hope the list helps you as well.

  1. Block out unscheduled time in your calendar every week. You'll need it.

  2. Try not to gain weight when your work-life balance is not optimal.

  3. Don't resort to email when someone wants to talk to you.

  4. Listening is more important than talking.

  5. If someone asks you to lunch, accept the invitation.

  6. Be five minutes early to a meeting, 15 minutes if you are leading it.

  7. Make someone laugh every day.

  8. Celebrate the victories small and large.

  9. Put more in your 401(k) than you spend on clothes in a year.

  10. Find a mentor; be a mentor.

  11. If something doesn't feel right, it's not.

  12. When you start longing for the weekend on Monday, take a vacation or find a new challenge.

  13. Don't text and drive - please.

  14. You're only as good as the worst performer on your team.

  15. A problem is usually not as bad as it first appears.

  16. Owning every outcome changes the way you approach everything.

  17. You can learn a lot from people who decide to leave a job.

  18. Good questions are as important as correct answers.

  19. It's usually better to show up in person.

  20. Think ahead, way ahead.

  21. It's easy to lose touch with customers and employees. Embrace them.

  22. Goals are more achievable when written, read and reviewed.

  23. There are many forms of recognition. All are important.

  24. Put birthdays in your calendar as annual recurring meetings.

  25. If someone offers you a mint, take it.

  26. Be careful with Facebook and the "Send" button.

  27. Preparation trumps nervousness.

  28. When your boss makes fun of you in a group, you're doing all right.

  29. Spend more time with employees who talk to customers every day.

  30. Don't be the last one to call it a night at an off-site company function.

  31. Define what you want to learn every year in January, and then learn.

  32. Take action to make your leader's job easier.

  33. Shorten your emails; be explicit if you require a response; treat cc's as an inform only.

  34. Put yourself in someone else's shoes - often.

  35. Go out of your way to make new people feel welcome.

  36. Treat the company's money the way you would treat your family's money.

  37. The people who make you nervous don't want you to feel nervous.

  38. The longer the working relationship, the harder it is to give and receive useful feedback.

  39. If it's important, don't rely on email only.

  40. Plan your vacations during the right times. They will be more enjoyable.

  41. Silence is a great negotiating tool. Let others talk.

  42. If you're not sure how to pronounce someone's name, call the person's voice mail late at night.

  43. If everyone on your team agrees with you too often, look for stronger teammates.

  44. A second chance is enough.

  45. Fully appreciate where you are right now.

  46. Don't wear white socks with black pants.

  47. Ask people what they are reading.

  48. Use spell check on both your computer and your mobile device.

  49. If you are not sure whether you should use your personal or business credit card, use the personal one.

  50. Talking about your imperfections makes you more approachable and likeable.

It's often the little things that make the biggest differences (I guess that's number 51). I love receiving feedback. Please send me your thoughts on this list, including any of your "little learnings." end of article

Jeff Broudy has been a CPA, owner and founder of a small business, and Sales Leader for Intuit Inc.'s Payment Solutions Division. Most recently, he joined Total Merchant Services as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Contact him via email at jbroudy@totalmerchantservices.com..

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