Part of being successful means both craving and embracing a sense of discovery in work and life. This means a desire to know more, experience more and uncover more – in everything from new trends in the workplace to a different type of wine. If you’re not constantly discovering, you may remain stagnant and fail to achieve those once-ambitious career goals. Just as we’ve discovered Apothic as our greatest asset in the wine cellar, we asked four Canadian CEOs from varying professions to weigh in on following question:
How can young professionals uncover their greatest asset in the workforce?
“This is almost a trick question! I enjoy looking at things from different perspectives and I will take a page out of the lessons I learnt in my sports career for this one. I firmly believe your biggest asset is the quality that you don’t possess. The saying talent can only take you so far applies here; let me explain. We all have a gift of some sort, a talent, a natural penchant towards something. Typically this “asset” comes naturally and even effortlessly to some, and human nature leads us take it for granted. Let’s imagine that I have natural running speed, great stamina or an outstanding standing long jump. I won’t need to work so much on that aspect of my game since it comes naturally. An athlete will use his natural talent as a base to develop all the other qualities necessary to become a champion. Talent alone will never ever make you a champion. When I was a fencer, my physical abilities were significantly superior to my strategic ability; most of my work consisted of finding ways to modulate my power by introducing tactical elements of surprise, not focusing on what came naturally to me. In business, I am convinced that a young professional’s best chance at uncovering their greatest asset in the workplace is by NOT relying on his strengths. A young professional able to focus on the weakest links and complete the arduous and lengthy task of becoming a well-rounded business person instead of coasting on talent will end up on top every time. This I promise you can take to the bank.”
– Mark-Oliver Hassoun, CEO, Strenua Solutions Inc.
“Young professionals have a unique presence in the workplace, being able to offer fresh perspectives, unbridled energy, and innovation to any team. In today’s workplace, they can be just as powerful as others with significant experience. They have the ability to recognize inner confidence and the courage to push the envelope.
Young professionals need to continuously bring new ideas to the forefront, sharing them amongst their teams without fear. Everyone loves a good brainstorming session, so take advantage of it. As a new face in an organization, establishing yourself as a leader from the beginning is essential to gaining respect from your co-workers and mentors. Don’t be afraid. Take the risk of sharing your ideas with the CEO and it will lead to greater responsibility. Be the exclamation mark in the organization, not the period!”
– Jay Klein, CEO, Pur Gum
“As a CEO with just over 1700 people in our company, I would have to say our greatest asset is people. Development of people is our purpose, both professionally and personally. Helping people to grow, by challenging and supporting them, is our vision. This leads to a culture where people are constantly wanting to grow and challenge. This in turn creates a company that will continue to grow.
Young professionals should look for a company that focuses on training and development, a company that also assigns its masters as coaches and mentors for the newest to the team. “Success leaves clues” – always be on the lookout for successful people and ask to be mentored. When we work hard and smart, we utilize a holistic approach to growing. We learn through disciplined practice to continually uncover the layers of what makes each of us better and better.”
– Ray Civello, CEO, Aveda Canada
“For any professional – young, middle aged or anything in between – the greatest asset is their ability to solve problems creatively. What differentiates humans from every other species on earth is our imagination. We are able to dream of things that don’t exist and make them real. In today’s experience economy, where goods and services are commoditized and the market is increasingly competitive, the ability to think differently along a disciplined set of criteria is the modern-day professional’s biggest asset.”
– David Diamond, CEO, Diamond Integrated Marketing
Cover image courtesy Wix.com