As we approach Presidents Day, it’s time to pay homage to the men (no women – yet!) who led our country through good times and in bad. No matter how you feel about their politics, most U.S. Presidents strove to do their best. They held our nation together and moved us forward.
It has been said that the six traits of a good president are intelligence, honesty, connectivity, persistence, leadership and education. Those same traits also apply to a successful worker. Here’s how to make them work for you.
· Intelligence. Theodore Roosevelt is famous for having said, “Speak softly but carry a big stick.” An Intelligent worker or jobseeker will create a “big stick” – his or her career map – and use it as a guide to their next career destination.
· Honesty. Every U.S. President spoke about honesty. Grover Cleveland said, “Above all, tell the truth.” Abe Lincoln said, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Jobseekers: why take chances embellishing your resume with falsehoods, or trying to game the system on personality tests? Tell the truth. Always.
· Connectivity. Presidents didn’t win elections without becoming good connectors. Likewise, workers can benefit from being good connectors. Reach out to people you’ve known from childhood, and connect with them in person or online. Be clear about what you seek from them. Reciprocate! Return favors and offer to help others without expecting anything in return.
· Persistence. President Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.” That’s especially true when hunting for a job in any economy. Expect rejection, but know that good things come to those who act and are willing to be introspective. Persist in knowing yourself and you will find a job that’s right for you.
· Leadership. All U.S. Presidents demonstrated remarkable leadership skills. Leadership is an important competency to convey to hiring managers. Smart workers would do well to share their leadership experience and competencies on résumés and in job interviews. You can also demonstrate “thought leadership” on a blog or through social media channels.
· Education. Most U.S. Presidents received a college education – even the early ones. The importance of an education is underscored in this quote from our current President, Barack Obama: “In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity – it is a pre-requisite.” Smart jobseekers understand that knowledge, combined with experience, builds competency, and competency is a stepping stone to success. Get as much education as possible to be as competitive as possible.
We can all learn a great deal from U.S. Presidents – even beyond what they offer those who are jobseekers. Take time this Presidents Day to read about some of them and reflect on their words of wisdom.