Tips for winners

published by the Nashville Business Journal

It may be surprising to know that being a winner is not all that complicated. There are some very basic things everyone can learn and practice to become a winning leader. None of these “tips” require any special talent or advanced education—just some common sense and a commitment to being a good team player in the workplace. Try giving yourself a grade on each one, and then if you’re really brave share your grade with someone close to you. 

Be on time. It sounds easy, but for some people it’s not. In most jobs, being on time is absolutely essential for the team to function. It shows respect for your boss and your peers. My philosophy is if you’re on time you’re late: My meetings start at five minutes before the hour. 

Be prepared. Have the tools of your trade with you. That could be a hammer and nails or a charged computer. Be prepared with the skills you need to perform the job. Start work ready and able to be the best that you can be.

Work hard. Do what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it—with the diligence expected. Pull your weight so you don’t disappoint other members of the team. Hard work is so important at Tractor Supply that our mission starts, “Work hard, have fun and make money.” 

Do the right thing. I believe that leading from an ethical position always puts you out front. Walk the high road in everything you do. Be safe, be thoughtful, and be honest in your words and actions. 

Be positive. Smile, communicate and show everyone around you that you are an all-round good person. People want to work with other positive people—no one wants to be associated with a negative attitude. All the research shows that an upbeat attitude leads to a longer life, happier marriage and better career. Stay positive—it pays!

Be coachable. When you are open to learning, others will help you improve your skills and grow in your position. Leaders find that those who are most coachable are often the ones who are first to move up the ladder.

Be respectful. Be nice to other people, ask questions, hold the door, pat someone on the back, be polite—in other words do what your parents taught you for so many years. Demonstrating respect for others earns respect for you. Be nice—it works!

Be a team player. Go the extra mile to help your peers and team achieve success. Winners encourage and lead teams to work together toward a common goal. The extra effort will not only be observed by your boss, but also admired by your team.

As a leader, just think how great everything would be in your operation if everyone in your group followed each of these small pieces of advice every day. We can all be winners!

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