Path of the Professional


In life, you will meet a variety of people. Some will want to hurt you for no reason. Some will entertain you at the beginning, then betray you at the end. Some will help you with genuine kindness. Many will trade for mutual benefit; many will try to negotiate better terms for themselves.

If you have lived through harsh times, you may not trust enough to get the benefits of teamwork. If you have lived in a sheltered environment, you may not understand the painful risks of the real world. These beliefs have already been ingrained into your mind and subconscious behaviour. You will need to take intentional steps to weave them out into a balance.

Law of Preparation

From the danger of a home fire to the surprise of a business ultimatum, your potential encounters are diverse. While your options in a violent confrontation are limited, you get much more tactical flexibility in business deals, office politics, and even normal interactions. You must be prepared.

A conversation is a clash of beliefs, opinions, intentions, and expectations strewn with imperfect logic. To walk the road of effective communication, first master the simple ideas. Yes to accept. No to decline. Maybe to express uncertainty or momentary indecision. Explain to get clarification, reasoning, or further details and instructions. Wait to get more time for thinking. These simple ideas are the foundation of making firm decisions, requesting more data, and taking time to better understand the immediate situation. Be clearly heard with short, simple sentences.

Law of Consequence

What matters is what happens. People enjoy and endure, technology works and breaks, expectations mesh and clang. Your actions have the power to change the world that would otherwise run its course without you. The value of every action draws from its opportunity cost and butterfly effect.

For certain businesses, machine downtime can cost millions of dollars in lost revenue per hour. Serious problems also cost the valuable time of entire departments. Executives review situation reports by the minute. Engineering scrambles to identify and repair the issue. Support absorbs a peak load of angry customers. This is why big businesses are glad to pay a high premium for reliable equipment and functional systems. People just expect things to work. People also expect things to fail gracefully then recover rapidly through known procedures.

Law of Continuity

Success is fleeting. Tragedy strikes when you least expect it. Goals can both progress and regress. The world moves on in spite of your accomplishments or mistakes. Situational awareness always matters.

The handshake with an investor is just a stepping stone to completing the deal and actually getting money in the business bank account. That money is just a stepping stone to growing the business. That growth is just a stepping stone to sustained profits. That profit is just a stepping stone to take the company public or otherwise enable the investor to exit. Only after this point have you accomplished a successful deal with the investor. And now you have potentially hundreds or thousands or employees who depend on your vision and skill to steer the company into the foreseeable future. Whether it’s you or another professional, someone has to fulfill that responsibility. Success requires constant effort.