As part of my daily activities at Cushman & Wakefield, I work with our teams of professionals to improve service to our clients, conduct presentations for new business opportunities, and interview job candidates. In many of these meetings, I challenge our employees’ thinking, solutions, strategies, and approaches. This practice is an important part of presentation preparation.
When interviewing potential candidates for employment, I try to discover how much they prepared by asking questions about C&W. I watch them during the interview—their mannerisms, how they present themselves, what they say, and ultimately try to determine how well they will fit into our culture. After one job candidate was 15 minutes late for a recent interview, I started thinking about what it takes to succeed (and not succeed, but that’s another list) in business, and came up with the following list.
1. Come prepared, period.
2. Show up on time.
3. Respect others.
4. Don’t demand respect—earn it.
5. Look people in the eye.
6. Think before you speak (advice your mother gave you a long time ago).
7. Take pride in your appearance—it does matter.
8. Don’t ever look at your Smartphone/PDA in a meeting … ever.
9. Politely disagree, but do so in a well-thought-out manner.
10. Shake hands firmly—yes, females too.
11. Read—become an expert.
12. Understand the numbers.
13. Make a sacrifice for the team (this will help you accomplish No. 4 above).
14. The world is a tough place; stop complaining and accept it.
15. Don’t think you are entitled to anything.
16. Always be (you fill in the rest).
These are some of the many things needed for success. Naysayers may say “appearance doesn’t matter” or make an excuse for being late (see No. 3 above). I say baloney. Success means being at the top of your profession—respected by your clients, customers, teammates, and peers. It means being feared by your competitors. It also means leaving something good behind that people will remember.
There is plenty of room to add to this list. Use the comments section to help me finish.
Steve Everbach, senior managing director, leads the North Texas operations of Cushman & Wakefield. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.