In this session of The Engineering Career Coach Podcast, Chris Knutson interviews Paul Rulkens and talk about the razor’s edge, some strategies on continuous improvement, and the power of knowledge that comes from reading books. Paul explains why any of us would want to be pre-eminent (hint: it accelerates your engineering career or business). And Paul also shares with us the “master key” for unlocking success — one object we all want on our key chain.
“Always move to the place where people love what you do.” – Paul Rulkens
Paul is an expert in high performance: the art and science of achieving business success in the easiest, fastest, and most elegant way possible. He is an award-winning professional speaker, author, and a trusted advisor who has helped hundreds of business owners, professionals, and executives get everything they can out of everything they have. His ideas to accelerate business and careers are often described as thought provoking and counter intuitive, yet highly effective.
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Paul shares one key strategy to hone your razor’s edge and gain pre-eminence.
Listen to this session and learn some of the key points Paul discussed in this episode including:
- Ideal clients are attracted to you because you are an expert in the field, but if you do great work, you will attract more clients; this is a great way to accelerate your career.
- What is pre-eminence? Stand apart from others. (“stand apart like a tall giraffe surrounded by field mice”)
- What is the “razor’s edge”? It means you do not have to become twice as good in order to double your results, but be a little better in a few things that really matter.
- Know what your razor’s edge is and focus to improve 1% everyday.
- When you visualize what success is, you suddenly see people, ideas, and circumstances that can help you achieve your goals.
Master key to unlocking success:
Identify – Ask yourself which one skill you need: Which one skill if I have right here, right now would have the biggest possible impact in my career?
Copy – Steal, run, and use: Look at other successful people who possess those skills already and start to pick their brains. Ask: What do they do differently?
Move into action – Start to take action to build that skill. Do the 1% rule – if you improve by 1% every single day, you will double the results after 17 days.
Two elements of high performance and pre-eminence:
- Clarity – have clarity on what success looks like so you can have the vision to do different things
- Build your strength – improve on your strengths rather than weaknesses
- Clarity – be very clear of what success look like
- Focus – focus on one or two things and determine how to get there as fast as possible
- Relentless execution – building success habits to make that happen
How high performing individuals/companies differ from low performing ones:
- They are very good at what they do
- They are very good at marketing themselves – being pre-eminent in the industry
Mindset of working on your business versus in your business: (Listen to Paul’s analogy of a hamster wheel)
- In your business – you become better and better at what you are doing
- On your business – you become strategic, make much more impact on what you are doing
Three activities that you do when you work ON your business:
Two keys on value creation:
- Know the distinction between need vs. want. Once you are pre-eminent in your niche, people come to you to have conversation with what they need.
- Move to a place where people love what you do (example of Joshua Bell, a famous violinist, playing in a subway).
- Focus on improving your services and relationships.
Books mentioned in this session include:
|The Power of Preeminence
||The Effective Executive
||Getting Things Done
|Made to Stick
||Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
||Steal Like An Artist
|What The CEO Wants You To Know
||Do The Work
||The Power of Full Engagement
Resources and links mentioned in this session include:
Paul’s TEDx Talks:
Sponsor for this session:
Have you determined your razor’s edge?
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on how you can become pre-eminent as an engineering professional or what you think you need to do to get there.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success