Many traits make up data professionals and the many who find themselves in leadership roles. The traits being shared in this blog post are ones that have helped me on my journey not just in a leadership role, but from a data professional perspective as well.
I debated often on sharing these; maybe even turning them into a session somewhere down the road. Also knowing that these are not set in stone traits for others; each data professional has their own thoughts and the way they conduct themselves on a day to day basis, but if someone can glean any insight or help by this post then it would be worth the share.
Jumping right into it then shall we? Many of you know my sports background; it is something I am not ashamed of nor try to hide. A lot of traits have carried over from my sports background into my career and as I go through these traits you will see some similarities shine through.
The Base – Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, Enthusiasm
Building a house means you start with building a solid foundation. These traits are ones that stick out to me as building part of that solid foundation:
- Industriousness – “Success travels in the company of very hard work. There is no trick no easy way.” – put forth that effort
- Friendship – “Strive to build a team or be part of a team that is filled with camaraderie and respect: comrades-in-arms.”
- Loyalty – “Be true to yourself. Be true to those you lead.”
- Cooperation – “Have utmost concern for what’s right rather than who’s right.”
- Enthusiasm – “Your energy, enjoyment, drive, and dedication will stimulate and greatly inspire others.”
The Second Layer – Self-Control, Alertness, Initiative, Intentness
- Self-Control – “Be disciplined” – enough said.
- Alertness – “Constantly be aware and observing. Always seek to improve yourself and the team.”
- Initiative – “Make a decision! Failure to act is often the biggest failure of all.”
- Intentness – “Stay the course. When thwarted try again; harder, smarter. Persevere relentlessly.”
The Third Layer – Condition, Skill, Team Spirit
- Condition – “Ability may get you to the top, but character will keep you there – mental, moral, and physical.”
- Skill – “What a leader learns after you’ve learned it counts most of all.”
- Team Spirit – “The star of the team is the team. ‘We’ supersedes ‘me’.”
The Fourth Layer – Poise, Confidence
- Poise – “Be yourself. Don’t be thrown off by events whether they are good or bad.”
- Confidence – “The strongest steel is well founded self-belief. It’s is earned; not given.”
The Final Layer – Competitive Greatness
- “Perform at your best when your best is required. Your best is required each day.”
Do I follow these principles every day? I wish I could say yes, but nevertheless I do not. I strive for these as in my heart I believe them to be solid foundations for me as a data professional, but I am human.
With success does come failure, but what defines you as an individual is not how many times you get knocked down. Instead it is how many times you get back up from the knockdowns that you will receive on your journey.
I’ll leave you with these lessons I’ve learned both in sports and being a data professional:
- Good values attract good people
- Love is the most powerful four letter word
- Call yourself a teacher
- Emotion can be your enemy at times
- It takes all team members hands to make a team; not just one set
- Little things make big things happen
- Make each day your masterpiece
- The carrot is mightier than the stick
- Make greatness attainable by all
- Seek significant change
- Don’t keep a scoreboard of who is right and who is wrong
- Adversity is your asset
Whatever you build your foundation on as a data professional make it yours and own it. You are the playmaker of your career, and orchestrator if you will.
Coach John Wooden is behind a lot of these thoughts in which I have built these foundations on. A statement he made resonated with me when I heard it, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”
I ask you, are you becoming the best of which you are capable of?
Thank you for putting your thoughts in writing. This is the best article on how to lead and be successful I’ve read in years – and I read a lot. Soo many articles focus on external traits, tricks, networking, etc. Focusing on your CORE makes so much more sense.
Gail, thanks for your comment. Truly appreciate it.