4. Feng Shui.
We have lots to learn from our Chinese neighbors.
One thing is the art of simplifying your environment, also known as Feng Shui. It can be lots of things from environmental spaces to building design. The habit I formed after learning about Feng Shui is to lose the clutter in my office.
As a writer, I often accumulated piles of notes on scraps of paper, magazine articles and books.
I learned that if everything is organized in a specific place or folder and if I have a clean desk each day, I can think more clearly and find things quickly. It is amazing the energy and presence of mind you will have if you try this and even more time!
5. Appearances count.
We live in an era of business casual and dressing down. In some ways, that has equalized us and made us less elite or arrogant.
However, first impressions do count, and people remember those who care about their appearance. Caring about how you look is important and says that you also care about those you are with. Develop your own business style, but make sure you look tasteful and well groomed.
There are lots of resources online or in bookstores to help you with this, or you can ask someone you admire in your office. If you write to me, I will send you my basic 10 packing list for business travel.
6. Feed your mind.
I will end where I began with technology. With it, there are so many easily accessible ways to get news and information today.
Make sure that just as your morning coffee is a part of your day, so is checking in with some regular sources that can give you a broad amount of information. It will help you open discussions with clients, develop perspectives and understand current business trends.
At a minimum, daily I look at a national newspaper website, an e-mailed technology journal, Twitter feeds, Linked In news and, of course, this website. I scan them all in under an hour, saving or e-mailing articles for more in-depth reading later.
Covey got me started, and I took it from there. I hope you have found this helpful. Tell me what you would add to the list. And stay tuned for my next article about executive career paths.
About the author
Andrea Cotter, President and Founder, ACotter Global Brands. Andrea coaches executives and teams helping them to put in place strategies and communications that will take them to the next level. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Strategic Communication at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
During a 30-year career at IBM Corporation, Andrea Cotter held many integrated marketing and communications roles for various IBM products and services and executive roles as Global Director of Linux and of Healthcare and Life Science Marketing. At UPMC in Pittsburgh, PA, Andrea was SVP of Communications, responsible for enterprise-wide brand marketing, advertising, clinical marketing and public relations. Most recently Andrea served as temporary President of a brand consultancy in New York, New York.