Personal Principles: What It Takes to Rise to The Top

Soon as you move along in your career you will need to have a set of personal principles to guide you along in your quest up the corporate ladder.

Spend some time thinking about what these maybe and how you can stay true to them regardless of the situation.

These principles take time to perfect but if you start early in your career, you will see success earlier.

1. Giving
Giving as a personal principle? It must be a joke. Whoever has heard of giving in the corporate world? Surely, the cold calculated corporate world would chew up such people who believe in giving. Before you jump to any conclusion, let's learn what giving entails.

To understand "giving" is simple. It is service. It is service to the company, the community and country. To give, in this sense means to give time and effort. It means to have a genuine concern for the task at hand and to give your best effort and spend the appropriate amount of time on it.

2. Self Discipline
Self discipline here means to practice good ethics. It means never to take short cuts especially when it concerns honesty and integrity. Build your reputation as someone who has strong works ethics.

It also means to resist lying and avoid bad habits often practiced in the corporate world like divisive speech. People gossip and spread rumors as if there are no repercussions on themselves. Have the discipline to resist no matter how many of your colleagues are doing these. When you practice self-discipline as one of your personal principles, you are free of negativity.

3. Patience
Patience is often seen as an overrated virtue. Personally I feel it is one personal principle that is not given enough due respect. That is why we get so many angry and frustrated people in the working world today. Patience means the strength of the heart and mind. In my mind it is the toughest to practice. In fact, the Chinese word for patience is actually a blade stabbed in the heart.

Patience allows you to face adversity without losing sight of your goal. Do not mistaken patience as suppression of anger. It is not. In fact true patience is the recognition that time will dissolve all. Not just anger but praise as well. Hence, patience is also not happiness in the face of praise. That too will disappear with time.

Patience gives you strength to take insult, resentment, accusation and jealousy with grace. It is the ability to smile in the face of criticism and misunderstanding. It allows you to resist being irritated and resentful.

4. Diligence
Amongst all the personal principles, diligence provides the energy and fuel for the climb to the top of the corporate world. The climb to the top of the corporate hierarchy is an arduous journey. It is even more difficult if you want your move up the corporate ladder as one that will gain you the respect and trust of the others.

In whatever you do, you need to be consistent and work ceaselessly. Put rewards and recognition as secondary but delivering the best results as primary. The rewards and recognition will come as a result of you delivering the best possible result. Amongst the personal principles, diligence helps checks your tendency to be lazy, your tendency to say ‘I should cut myself some slack today.’ When you have diligence as one of your personal principles at work, you will see setbacks as a seed for success. You will not understand the meaning of failure.

5. Focus
Know what you want and concentrate your efforts on it. Do not have scattered thoughts and move from one goal to the next. When you do that you waste your efforts. Zoom in on your goal and work towards it. Train your mind to do what you tell it to do.

Staying focused also means being mindful and acutely aware of the tasks you are currently doing. Live in the now. If you are reading a proposal now, focus on it. Do not think about the meeting that will happen later. When you focus, you increase your efficiency and effectiveness. You will also minimize mistakes.

6. Wisdom
Gain wisdom by knowing. But knowing what? Start by knowing your role and everyone’s role in your company. Don’t just stop there. Know the role of your suppliers and clients.

Have the wisdom to know the interconnectedness of people and departments you deal with.When you have this wisdom, you will realize cooperation is a natural course of events. That you cannot isolate people and departments regardless of how much you dislike them. You will start to think of solutions in the form of a common platform from where all can work towards a common goal.

Learn these personal principles by heart. Understand them on your quest to the top. When you practice these personal principles well you will gain the respect and earn the trust of the others.

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