Today is the day you declare you’re ready to move forward. You’re ready to accomplish, to achieve, to succeed, to attain. Whatever you’re striving after, you need to look for the greatest example to follow. You need to actually do the homework to understand what allowed this example to be successful.

If it’s owning your own practice, if it’s being the highest producer in your area, if it’s ascending in the corporate environment faster… all these things start with a higher level of understanding and awareness. Ask yourself – what do I want myself to look like in the future? Is there someone you’d like to model yourself after? Go out and find those examples. This is intentionality.

It’s okay to show up at work every day as an associate. However, maybe you know the way someone ascended in an organization from an associative to a VP, what he/she was exhibiting, his/her characteristics were. Maybe it was by being dependable, by being accurate, by being timely, by being articulate. If you know those are the characteristics that caused him/her to be successful, if this is the person you want to look like it in your future, then you must set your intentions. Think about who you need to be every day, and be that person.

Even if the only thing you’re doing is answering the phone, you have to be intentional, methodical, and make yourself available and friendly to the people that you want to ingratiate yourself too so that they recognize you. As you begin to overachieve, make a mark, they will say, “Man, I hired this person to simply answer the phone, and they are doing such an incredible job, but they are also doing ten other great things, too.”

Sidenote: When I say, “just answer the phones”, I don’t mean just. Sometimes, we minimize the significance of a role in an organization and the person. When you minimize the significance of that role, you’re actually minimizing the opportunity of significance who can contribute to an organization.

My advice to anybody that’s thinking about excelling in doing anything, is first understanding, at least minimally, what you want to accomplish over what period of time. Goal setting is very important.

Then, model your behavior and your contribution after someone who’s been a high-impact player and attained what it is you’re trying to attain. Have the discipline, the grace, to ingratiate yourself to others you want to work with. This way you open the door to allow them to develop you and teach you. Before you know it, you may find yourself sitting at the table, at the center of what they’re doing.