Remembering the First Time

Contribution Personal leadership Respect


Key point: Do you remember the first time you entered the doors of the organization you are currently at? The anticipation? Anxiety? Excitement? Every time we enter the work place, whether the first time, last time or every day in the middle, we leave an impression and something behind. There is only one first time, so whether it’s the initial time through your work place or a customer’s door, seize the opportunity with purpose and intent! If you have been at it a while, declare today a “first day” and walk in again with the end game in mind. Declare who you are, what you believe in and what you will leave behind by your actions. 

On April 16 I was blessed with another first time. I walked in the front door, rode the elevator to the top floor and began. Getting ready started weeks ago but it was truly “game time” on Monday. Here’s what I had to anticipate. Everyone I interact with would make an initial assessment. My priority was to have my antennae finely tuned. I needed to be present and sense everything around me. So I will be purpose driven in being the best possible listener. My eye contact, firm handshake, smile and professional demeanor are important but the most significant action is measured by the depth and meaningfulness of questions I ask. And then demonstrating an acute level of understanding and empathy in collecting the answers. My ego needs to take a quiet seat on the back of the bus. I will find the best-placed seat for me by listening carefully to every rider and deeply caring about their well-being.

Character move:

  1. If you want to have a great first day, you need to start by taking a picture of your desired last day. What will they say about your contribution and legacy the day you leave? Paint that picture of the value you will leave behind with as much specificity and clarity as possible.
  2. Begin day one by making every interaction a conscious one. Make a contribution by listening with fierce understanding. Remember every person counts… Beginning with the parking attendant. You are a scientist, investigative journalist, and artist. Bring all your skills and talent to the forefront.
  3. Remind yourself that it is a privilege to serve and that the team you join is also fortunate that you are bringing your talent and energy too. It is the mutual, respectful exchange of oxygen between you and the organization that drives a sustainable, rewarding relationship.
  4. Begin every day like it’s the first. Stop and reflect at the end of the day. Write down how you moved the “ball forward” that day… Sometimes a little… Sometimes a lot!
  5. Give yourself a little room going in. No one expects perfection. And not everyone will be nice, play fairly or care about you. What matters most is how you think and act. The rest will take care of itself eventually, and the end day will be reasonably close to what you envisioned and declared on day one.

First time and The Triangle,