Be honest with yourself and others

Be honest at all times with all people, including yourself.


Be honest at all times with all people, including yourself.  When asked what the essential qualities of entrepreneurs are, Lord Sugar, the businessman who started Amstrad, former owner and chairman of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and now known for his appearance on The Apprentice, said ‘you must be honest, straightforward, don’t beat around the bush, tell it how it is.’  It is preferable to follow your heart and what you are drawn to.  If you do what you think you should do, rather than what you ‘honestly’ really want and are able to do, you will find it very hard to motivate yourself and fully engage yourself over time.

One person who has understood this and clearly demonstrates the link between success and attitude is Sir Ben Ainslie, the British sailor in both team and individual events, and five-time Olympic medallist.  When asked why he stood out, he said, ‘I’ve thought about it a lot. There are many really talented people in this world; I think the difference just comes down to how much you really want it and how hard you are prepared to work for something. You’ve got to be smart about that, there’s no point going and running 20 miles a day and pounding weights in the gym non-stop, you’ve got to do it in the right way. Sports psychology is pretty powerful, I remember when I was a kid and they used to bring in sports psychologists and you just used to laugh at it all. Of course, as you get older you realise that it really is the key to everything.  You have to be very honest. One of the things I’ve noticed a lot about people who are good but then don’t quite make is that they always have an excuse for something that goes wrong, it’s never really their fault. I think if you’re honest and say ‘Ok well I did make a mistake’, then that goes a long way.

Alun Oliver, the Managing Director of E3 Consulting, worked for two years as a Quantity surveyor straight out of university, at a large global property, construction and engineering company.  It was a very positive experience for him all round.  He became professionally qualified, whilst working in an engaged, inclusive and friendly environment.  He also completed his Institute of Marketing Diploma and was very actively involved in BS5750 Quality Assurance review and application at the same time.

However, during his time there he came to the conclusion that mainstream Quantity surveying was not really for him and that he wanted more of a challenge. He was introduced to the idea of becoming a Capital Allowances Tax Surveyor although did not really know anything about this specialist area initially.  He researched it, and realised this was more of the sort of thing he was looking for.  By being honest with himself about wanting to be challenged more professionally, even though he was relatively comfortable in the role he was in, he was able to make the decision to move into a new sector, within the surveying profession.

Alun made his decision based on his research of the company (Crosher and James), the sector (Capital Allowances), and his honest opinion as to what he thought suited his true abilities.  At that time he moved from a Global company of several thousand employees to a niche boutique specialist which employed fewer than fifty people.  He has found the move as expected both challenging and rewarding.


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