Achieving great things starts with conscious consistency
By Brian Blaha
I’ve been fortunate to have spent time with many of Wipfli’s younger associates during the past year. While our overall ways of working have changed coming out of COVID-19, it’s been refreshing to interact with them in person and talk about where they’re headed on their professional journeys.
I recently came across a theme on Twitter that pertained to a documentary. It noted: “To achieve great things, the first thing to do is start, do things consistently over time, and great things will happen.” I can certainly relate to this approach. Sometimes the professional path we have to take is quite simple on the surface. It starts with focus, perseverance and a sense of curiosity about how things work and where we can make a difference.
As I thought about it, that documentary theme also played into my story of moving to Chicago and starting Wipfli’s practice here. We had just completed an internal webinar on business development techniques, and Anna Kooi, our national financial services leader (the moderator), asked me to recount that story.
Starting from scratch and pursuing my own path really came down to a logical but consistent focus on engaging with my colleagues and building a network based on trust and collaboration. The core tenets included:
- Getting out and scheduling meetings
- Asking others who we should meet with
- Being open to change in direction based on the opportunities presented
- Being consistent on following up
- Being diligent on who you want as a client
- Being present in the right places
- Being authentic and approachable
You’ll notice a number of these straightforward steps begin with “being” — because that’s really central to building a career. Are you present? Are you making an effort to not only interact but also to connect? The latter requires making an honest effort to engage with others.
This is where authenticity comes in. It can’t be forced. It’s something that comes from within and having a passion for what you do — and then looking to build relationships with others who are focused on solving the same problems.
Is there someone you want to connect with or get to know better? Maybe it’s time to reach out to them. You have nothing to lose — and you are more than likely to learn something just from trying to connect at a deeper level. Making this effort is an important step in gaining the confidence to be yourself and share your talents with others.