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Choosing to Succeed

We all desire success in our careers and lives. Many go along leaving their progress to fate or believing that prosperity requires someone giving them “a break.” Every person has the power to accomplish great things and it all begins with the understanding that succeeding is a choice……… a choice you can make.

My name is David Elleman. I’ve enjoyed a thirty-five-year career in the professional beauty industry. The early years were as a distributor of salon beauty products and the second half was as a Business Development Manager, then Director of Business Development for Redken Fifth Avenue NYC. I attribute my success to three things:

  1. I led a remarkable team of talented and highly skilled professionals who were dedicated to excellence and to the success of the salons with whom they engaged.
  2. I was privileged to work with and learn from top business leaders and platform artists, in the beauty trade, all focused on the success of salon professionals. 
  3. Most importantly, I chose to succeed, mapping my course by setting and achieving goals, continually learning new skill sets and surrounding myself with the capable, accomplished business associates.   

Because you’re on this website, you are probably considering a career or are already in the beauty business. The Salon Professional Academy – Nashville can teach you state of the art technical skills and business expertise. What they can’t do for you is make the choice to succeed. You have to do that for yourself. It’s going to require diligence, hard work and a willingness to improve and change. 

The first step in career success is establishing a good work ethic. Your values, principles and attitudes around how you behave at work are at the core of your ability to become a high achiever. You may have seen, on social media, terms like “bare minimum Mondays”, “lazy girl jobs” and “quiet quitting.” Those choosing and implementing these ideas and activities are choosing to fail

According to the Harvard Business Review, there are four qualities that exemplify a good work ethic:

  • Reliability and Dependability: You need to meet deadlines on time. If you have an appointment or a time to arrive at work or a meeting, fifteen minutes early is on time. Arriving at the appointed hour or after is late. Acting appropriately in virtual and in-person meetings seems a given. Unfortunately, many fall short of this mark. It is essential that you regularly deliver on these behaviors.
  • Productivity: You should consistently navigate your priorities and find smart ways to use your time, complete important tasks and deliver high-quality results. 
  • Ownership and Autonomy: You need to exercise initiative and show that you can take direction form others, learn and improve. Justifying, denying and laying blame are behaviors of the insecure and should never be a part of your work or life conduct.
  • Collaboration and Team Support: You need to have the foresight to look beyond your individual role and establish positive working relationships with others. Support the responsibilities of your team and act as a team player.

These four qualities demonstrate professional integrity and show a strong commitment to ethical behavior at work. 

In contrast, examples of bad work ethic include:

  • Low work quality
  • Consistent tardiness
  • Lack of attention to deadlines
  • Focusing on your own goals at the expense of the greater team or company goals
  • Abuse, harassment and the sabotaging of others

Although many traits showing a strong work ethic may come naturally, they can also be learned, developed and sharpened. When you are the “new person” at work, one of the best ways to learn is observe. Pay attention to how coworkers behave in meetings to gain a better understanding of their “etiquette.” Collaborate and surround yourself with those exhibiting the best and most positive examples of productivity and excellence. You will become like those with whom you associate. 

In the weeks and months ahead, we will discuss many ways in which your choice to succeed may be implemented. It is vital to recognize that it’s your choice to make. No one else is responsible for your success or failure. Take the leap. Walk through that door of self-reliance and choose to succeed. 

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