This month’s Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom come from Chris Law, CEO and co-founder of Future Grid. Chris has found amazing success through his relatively short career. Being a dynamic, results focussed engineer, he has quickly ascended the corporate ranks. He has taken his fair share of risks along the way, always betting on his own abilities to get the job done.
Here are Chris’s Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom:
- Plan. Understand why you are doing what you are doing and how it helps you achieve a goal. Time is a precious resource so spend it well. A plan provides a north star for you to follow when obstacles arise, which they will. Ironically by having a plan, you are in a better position to change it because it will help you recognise when and why you need to change it.
- Sleep on it – always. I can’t tell you how many tough business problems have been solved by taking the time to think about an approach or strategy rather than reacting to what is in front of me. I find the concept of the infinite mind introduced by Dale Carnegie a useful tool. It’s fascinating how sleeping on tough issues allows your brain to iterate more quickly and formulate better solutions – its worked for me many times in fascinating ways.
- Effort. You don’t always need to be the smartest person in the room, just the most persistent. Sure, being super smart is helpful, however never underestimate how lazy people can be within the workplace. I have often found having a solution with a path to execution is far more powerful than the ideal solution. It’s about being practical and it’s about working within the constraints of the business. I have found people within businesses know what all the problems are. Listen to them, this is gold. Take this information and plan solutions with them and you will find yourself not just improving the business but building a circle of influence as the go-to-person in the future.
- Strengths. Figure out what you are good at. This may seem obvious but from my experience it takes time through trial and error in different roles. Understanding this will help you understand your key point of difference- this is what you can offer that others cannot. I have often found doing things I’m good at makes me happier. Often I am able to do these things to a level that can really make a difference, which for me is a real motivator.
- Always Selling. If you want to make change in the workplace you need to convince others to make it a reality. One of the hardest things to do in this process is to summarise your concepts into 1-2 slides. We live in a Twitter world so less is more in terms of content. A game-changer for me in the workplace was the concept of What, So What and What Next model. Developed as a reflection model by Rolfe et. al. in 2001, this approach helps create a laser focus on the problem and why it needs solving.