I recently attended a prize giving at my son's school. Yes, he was getting an academic award for Chemistry - a subject I struggled to even pass at school - but he seems to excel in. Before the awards were handed out, the principal gave a short speech. My ears pricked up when he said that he had a list of ten things that he wanted to share with these school leavers that required no talent but that would help them move forward in the next stage of their lives. I wanted to share them here with you because I think they are ten great things we can all be reminded of and as they require zero talent - there shouldn't be any excuses to access them ourselves.

Although the ten headings were shared by Patrick Gale, Principal of Rangitoto College in Auckland, New Zealand, I have added the descriptions. In many years of business, these ten principles have shown to make the difference between those that can and those that can't, those that will and those that won't and those that did and those that didn't.

Be on Time. It isn't hard to be punctual and it shows respect to the other people we are supposed to be on time for. If we are always late. Start earlier. If it's an unexpected obstacle making us late, call ahead. Being on time shows organisational skills, respectful attitude and avoids adding stress in your life. Plus you won't miss out!

Work Ethic. You don;t have to be talented to have a good work ethic. Consistently apply yourself at what you do. Don't be lazy or idle. Show others that you don't mind working hard and that you can stick at something.

Energy and Effort. Work smarter at what you do and put effort behind it. Even if things come easy to you, put effort in otherwise you will become complacent and when you find things hard, you 'll have a tendency to give up too easily.

Body Language. Watch the impressions you make. How do you present yourself? Are your shoes clean? Do you look happy or sad or nervous? What are you projecting? Are you giving off the right impression and are you being the kind of person you would trust and want to be around?

Passion. Make choices that will allow you to do things that you enjoy. Find a path that makes you happy and that you enjoy doing.

Do Extra Things. Go above and beyond what's expected. I have told my son on more than one occasion that when he gets a job and his boss asks him to do five things, do all six of them - meaning that you do everything on the list and something extra that hasn't been asked of you. Use your initiative and get ahead of the pack. Consider working for free for a short time to show your intent. Volunteer from time to time.

Be Prepared. Don't rely on excuses, blame others or deny you have the capability. Gain confidence from being prepared. If you are going to a meeting or a networking function, have a question ready to ask. Stay up on current events, practice interview questions and show up to any event, interview or meeting having done some research.

Be Coach-able. Be prepared to learn from others and to improve. Be open and receptive. Don't ever think you have learned all there is to know about something and realise that everyone can teach you something.

Be Kind. What goes around comes around. Try to make someone feel special. Smile at a stranger, help out a colleague, try to make someone's day.

Have the Right Attitude. Be the best you can be. Be positive in every situation. Be the kind of person that other people want to be around and associate with. There are enough negative people out there. You don't need to be one of them.

There may be more in your list and I'm happy to take comments. Please share if you found this at all useful.


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