A structure’s foundation is built of many different stones, all of importance. The cornerstone is of primary importance, because all other stones will be set in reference to this stone. Removing the cornerstone will destroy the integrity of the foundation itself, leading to its collapse.
This concept is not unique to masonry. Just like a foundation, your life is comprised of many “stones” that make you who you are. The stronger the cornerstone you are built upon, the stronger your foundation. It is human nature to have goals to work toward, and it is human nature to want to be successful in achieving those goals. There is quite literally an infinity of goals a person may choose to pursue during their lifetime. And while the choice of goals individuals set for themselves is unique, methodologies used for achieving any goal are not unique. Why is it that some people seem to achieve their goals so easily, constantly succeeding through life, while others seem to struggle with every little thing they do?
Some people have better methodologies for achieving goals than others. These methodologies could simply be natural thought patterns, or they could be developed over time by trial-and-error, slowly figuring out what works with experience. Just like the scientific method can be applied to any hypothesis, a person can develop a method of achieving individual goals. Two goals can be wildly different and unrelated, but the method of achieving them is simply a process that can be applied to any problem. The question is, what are the traits of successful people we can apply best to ensure we succeed at achieving our goals?
I have learned that the cornerstone trait of successful people is consistency.
Try to Think Like your Boss.
Imagine you are an employer that operates a very large, successful company. You are going to hire a new employee. Someone fresh out of college. This approach has both positives and negatives. By hiring someone right out of college, you can start that employee at an entry-level pay scale and mold that employee into your image. That has major benefits versus hiring someone who has been in the industry for awhile that will both demand higher pay and may have developed habits from previous employers that are hard to break and adapt to your business model. The inherent risk of this approach is by hiring a new grad, you will have to invest in that person considerably because they lack the skill and experience in the industry to function at a high level. If you invest your time and money into someone that chooses to leave your place of employment, you have to start all over again.
You have two potential candidates:
Candidate 1 has a 4.0 GPA from an Ivy league university. They are charming, well-dressed and well-spoken. You leave the interview feeling great about this person, but you decide to do a little snooping. After viewing a few social media websites, you see a lot of photos of the candidate drinking. You read through their resume and make a few calls to previous part-time employers the candidate worked for during their college years. You find Candidate 1 has a habit of showing up late on Mondays still hung over from the weekend. Candidate 1’s drug test results come back diluted.
Candidate 2 has a 3.0 GPA from a state university. They do not possess the immediate charm of Candidate 1. Their suit is not nearly as expensive as Candidate 1’s. You leave the interview with a clear understanding Candidate 2 is intelligent, but less “polished” than Candidate 1. You decide to do a little snooping on this person’s personal life as well. All their social media accounts are set to Private and you cannot view their images. You read through their resume and make a few calls to previous part-time employers the candidate worked for during their college years. You find out Candidate 2 has a habit of showing up early and leaving late. Candidate 2’s drug test results come back negative for any potential drugs or questionable flags.
So who do you hire? The well-spoken, well-dressed, charming Candidate 1 with a 4.0 GPA who appears to party hard, may have a tendency of showing up late and may have a drug habit? Or do you hire Candidate 2, a person who is clearly intelligent and by all accounts is a reliable worker who does not have the charm and money to put on a polished first impression?
I Would Hire Candidate 2 by a Landslide.
Perhaps you’ve heard the old adage, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” I’ve found that the hardest characteristic to find in a person is reliability. The fanciest suit, most polished resume and highest GPA will not help a person succeed that can’t make it into work on time and needs frequent personal days off. Employers need someone they can count on, and they’ll sacrifice all sorts of qualifications for relentless reliability. ALL SKILLS CAN BE LEARNED AND ARE REPLACEABLE. Many new employers are willing to train a person to build upon any skills they may be lacking when initially hired, but reliability cannot be taught.
If you are a new grad looking for employment, or you’ve been in the workforce for years or even decades and want a better career, honestly ask yourself if you are reliable or not. If your honest answer is “yes” and you score an interview, drive that point home to the employer. Let them know you will be there – in early if need be, out late if need be, Monday through Friday. Even weekends if that’s what it takes. Being the person that shows up when others cannot will make you stand out from the crowd. If your honest answer is “no,” that may be what has been holding you back.All information found herein, including any ideas, opinions, views, predictions, commentaries, forecasts, suggestions or stock picks, expressed or implied, are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as personal investment advice. I am not a licensed investment adviser.