This is my personal and professional credo:
Be generous and expert, trustworthy and clear, open-minded and adaptable, persistent and present.
I wrote these words about five years ago. They powered a little guide that I distributed as a free PDF; over 50,000 people downloaded it. They then became the organizing principle for one of my books.
If you are so inclined to explore these principles a bit more, it will take you about ten minutes to go through the rest of this page and the next eight...
Generous means to help others long before – and after – you need their help.
Expert means to be very competent in one or more areas that others value. It also means that whenever you take on a new task, do your best.
Trustworthy means to take ownership of your words and actions, and recognize that you live in a world in which they will increasingly be recorded, remembered, analyzed, and replayed.
Clear means to know what you want and to be able to communicate it effectively.
Open-minded means no matter how expert or successful you become, never stop listening and learning.
Adaptable means to keep your options open, so that when the world surprises you, it won’t be that surprising.
Persistent means to keep trying, even when times are tough and you are tempted to quit.
Present means that although you should learn from the past and be prepared for the future, you should pay close attention to the present moment as it unfolds - otherwise, you will miss a great deal.
Now I'd like to explain each principle a bit further, so you can see how it can power your own life and career.