How can you be great? Read, reflect, contribute. Apply best practices and don't be afraid to crush sacred recruiting cows that died with the Industrialization Era. Look beyond the walls of our little Talent World - read the Economist, Fast Company, Fortune, and Wired. Great minds are great minds, and innovators are innovators, regardless what discipline they currently find themselves working within. We often seem to forget that as we're taught to think in terms of "target candidate profiles". Sometimes "down moments" in the business world provide "up moments" in other areas of our lives. Maybe those times allow us to get closer with family and friends; maybe we take up a new hobby. There is more to our lives than solely the work dimension.
I remember being 20 years old and running an indoc to get out of regular Marine Infantry and into Special Ops. There were times that I was pushed well beyond my physical limits . . . but I wouldn't allow myself to quit. As I looked around me, what started out as 20 indoc-ees had cut to 15 . . . to 10 . . . to 5 . . . to 3 (the real "cream".) The longer this went on, the more and more I realized that I wasn't battling pain or the environment around me - I was battling my own mind; my own psyche. And I knew (from my hard work and preparation to this point), that if I hurt, the guy next to me hurt twice as much.
The true test of a person's character is how we perform in the tough times, not the easy ones. Now is not the time to lay down - It's time to stand tall. And if something happens that is outside of your control, get up. Then get up again . . . and again . . . and again. Even if you fall 7 times, what matters is that you get up 8.
To channel Mcain and Obama during Tuesday's debate, "My Friends, now is not the time to have a wheel pop off the Straight-Talk Express" :)…