In November, our Director was featured as one of the seven community leaders at CenterState CEO’s ’7 Habits of Highly Successful People’. The event drew nearly 100 attendees and featured Eric Hinman, Rounded; Eileen Brophy, Brophy Services Inc.; Bob Daino, WCNY TV/FM; Amy Collins, CNY Central; Dominic Robinson, CenterState CEO; Kimberly Boynton, Crouse Hospital; and Matt Mulcahy, CNY Central and 7 Habits emcee.
In case you missed the opportunity to attend, we’ve listed Dominic’s seven habits, below.
1. Define Success for Yourself: Success can be defined in very different ways: achievements, public accolades, status in society, etc. It’s been important for me, however, to think of success as a daily practice. I appreciate Aristotle’s suggestion that happiness is achieved by utilizing one’s talents in the pursuit of excellence. We might consider asking ourselves, “Is my daily life filled with meaningful pursuits, worthy challenges, and authentic relationships? Am I using my gifts in ways that make me happy and contribute to the world around me?” These questions define success for me, and they guide my path.
2. Invest in the Success of Others: In my work, success is predicated on a great team. I cannot accomplish anything without talented, passionate colleagues and strong community partners. This team dynamic, however, must be cultivated. It requires constant attention and effort. That payoff is worth it, though. When those around me feel supported and empowered, the quality of our collective work increases. This dynamic also fosters camaraderie and loyalty, which are building blocks for sustaining a strong team culture.
3. Be Authentic: Authenticity seems to be fundamental to living a satisfied and successful life. To be authentic suggests that we are true to ourselves and rooted in our convictions. More than this, however, I have come to embrace the fact that being authentic also means being vulnerable. We must accept our inadequacies and failures and own them as much as our successes. We must be willing to laugh at ourselves. When we’re comfortable with our own vulnerability, those around us are intuitively more willing to trust us. Plus we are more willing to work on our faults and seek help from others, which ensures continuous improvement.
4. Seek Advice and Constructive Criticism: Our perspectives have been shaped by our own experiences, and while experience is the best teacher, we must also understand the limitations of our own points of view. I’ve made it a habit to constantly seek advice from people who I respect but who are very different than me. Drawing from a wide array of ideas and opinions has allowed me to develop more thoughtful strategies and a greater sense of empathy for others.
5. Embrace the Power of Creative Conflict: Working with talented, passionate people is the best part of my job, but it’s fair to say that it’s not always easy. Hardly a week goes by without trying to reconcile differences in opinion or engaging in passionate (and sometimes heated) debates – and that’s a good thing! Virtually every defining moment or period of growth in my life has been been catalyzed by some kind of challenge or conflict. Creative conflict fuels innovation and, in the long run, can enhance camaraderie. I think we must allow for a healthy level conflict in the workplace. Of course, for conflict to be constructive, there has to be an underlying culture of respect and a willingness to set differences aside when it’s time to move on.
6. Don’t Fear Failure: We know that great accomplishments are often predicated on risk taking. Virtually every successful person has taken a leap of faith when others might have backed away. However, it’s important to remember that a leap of faith is rooted in… well, faith. I’ve pursued some ambitious and seemingly illogical goals in my day, and others have tried to dissuade me. The truth is, however, that I had confidence in those moments. I saw something that others didn’t. Whether I was confident in my own abilities and preparation, or in the character and skill of those around me, my leaps of faith have rarely felt risky to me. In other words, transcending our fear of failure has a lot to do with ignoring the fears of others when we are genuinely confident.
7. Always Fear Failure: No matter how successful we become, we’re all capable of failure. The moment we think we’ve arrived, we’re in trouble. We set ourselves up for true failure when we succumb to compulsions towards complacency and entitlement. Real success is a daily practice, not a position of status. Recently, someone referred to our team as “scrappy”. I took that is the highest compliment. To me, scrappy suggests that we’re industrious, resourceful and shrewd. As long as I’m working, I want to be a scrappy guy, who’s always trying to stay one step ahead of my own shortcomings and potential for failure.
If you’re interested in reading the habits shared by the other speakers, check out CEO’s January Newsletter: CEO Essentials.