In 2010, my eldest daughter was preparing to leave for university and I wanted to do something special for her. So trying to be a good Dad, I decided to write her a brief letter on what I had learned over the course of my own career that I thought would be helpful to her. My successes, failures and a few principles that guided my actions. She graciously agreed that it was a good idea and that I should write the letter.
In the letter, I wrote down a handful of principles of what had worked for me, as I had literally gone from the stock room to the board room, and felt that I had some good ideas to offer her. However, when the letter was complete, I read through it and realized that something was missing. While the suggestions were good, it was missing my overarching philosophy or approach to my career, not just the steps that I took along the way. It wasn’t the things that I did in my career, it was my mindset that was important. My approach had been one of a growth mindset and that I believed in developing good habits and constant progress towards worthy goals. So I added to the letter that whatever she does, she should strive to develop good disciplines and habits to help her along the road.