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Want An Awesome Career? Buy A Pair Of Ataturk’s Binoculars

I just read a biography of great Turkish leader Ataturk, instrumental in the defeat of Australian forces at Gallipoli in World War 1. And it was at the most decisive moment of that battle that I learnt a lesson from Ataturk that is vital if we want robust, opportunity filled careers. Weird, but true. Here it is.

Ataturk was a mid-level commander at the time. He arrived at Gallipoli soon after Australian forces had landed, were streaming up this key hill, and with Turkish troops fleeing in panic. Within moments the Australians would have triumphed and history’s course changed forever. Ataturk ordered his men to stop, fix bayonets and drop to the ground. The approaching Australians saw this and, anticipating a Turkish charge, also dropped to the ground, and waited. In the ensuing lull, reserve Turkish troops arrived- many with big machine guns- , and the battle turned to a massive Australian defeat.

So where’s the lesson for our careers? Here’s the key sentence that provides the compass point:

What Is The Best Job In The World For You?

I was talking with creative icon Bruce Matchett in Singapore about making sure we don’t waste the opportunity to do something every day we really love doing. Then he asked me a question I have been thinking about ever since. Here it is. Bet it’s the toughest you’ve been asked in a while.

I like Sir Ken Robinson’s concept about working in your element….doing every day what you love and that you are really good at. If you can work in your element, says Sir Ken, you will never work another day in your life. Instead, you’ll be fully energized and having the time of your life!

Now- – I posed this question in a recent blog post: “What would you do now if you knew you could not fail?” And it was this question that Bruce countered with an even more powerful thought. Bruce’s question forces us to get very clear on what we really, really want to do every day. It is similar to my previous ask, but sharper, better. Here it is. Give it a go.

The Very First and Most Critical Ingredient To Success

It’s more than 35 years since my dear friend Shandy departed this world, aged 9. I am reflecting today how Shandy would have been a triumph at business, because he knew the essence of the first and most critical ingredient to success. Do you know what it is? Shandy did. And he was a dog. Read on.

I was grumpy last week.

After almost three weeks of traveling, I was back in Sydney, desperate to spend time in the office. Instead, I had to depart home early for a 1.5 hour freeway peak hour crawl west to visit for the first time the warehousing facility of a hugely successful logistics business we’d invested in (a critical step in delivering outstanding merchandising solutions capabilities to clients). We eventually arrived. I walked gloomily into reception when, suddenly, my spirits lifted. I began to feel excited about the five hours ahead. Because greeting me by name, beaming, was the most welcoming person I’d ever met. She knew my name, made me laugh, offered coffee, sat me down, explained the plot, and generally made me feel totally at home, and wanted.

Joy (that’s her name), you see, has become expert at the very first and most critical ingredient to success. So much so that she wears this capability as a badge of honor. Joy has become expert in this one key skill:

5 Golden Rules For A Longer And More Vibrant Career

I’m 52, and usually the oldest guy in the room whenever I meet with colleagues at or our industry more broadly. How has this happened? How have I survived and prospered in a so-called ‘young person’s industry’? Here’s the answer, in 5 simple Golden Rules. They worked for me. Will they for you?

First, not a rule. Just a reality. To survive in business and ensure your career keeps evolving and remaining relevant, you have to work on yourself as a project. You have to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. Seriously. Get very serious about yourself and working on improving and developing yourself.

If You Want A Great Next Role Get Ill First

“It took me 130 coffees to land the ideal next role for me,” said my breakfast companion on Friday. 130 coffees, hey. Now that would make you pretty ill. And that’s the point of this story. You need to get ill if you want to secure the very best role you can. Here’s why.

I am a huge fan of making the grass greener on this side of the fence; to try to fix your current role so it is inspiring and great. But sometimes the reality is that we need to move on- and finding that outstanding, insanely perfect next role can be a daunting challenge.

As your career evolves and you get more senior, it becomes tougher for the perfect opportunity to ‘land’. And that’s where the ‘Get Ill First’ strategy comes into play. This is what it is and how it works.