by J. Barry Vanek, PMP,
Below are 21 confessions to make before starting each day. (The bold blue lettering is what managers desire, and the confession is how you order your life to meet that desire.)

1. Never sell yourself short. “I am good at what I do; and I am an asset to this company, regardless of what I see, what others may say about me or how I feel.”
2. ‘Look’ the part, all day, every day. “I WILL take full responsibility for how I look and how I act. I WILL always look and act as the professional that I am. I WILL never flaunt or leverage my sexuality.”
3. Become a subject-matter expert on at least one subject. “I WILL become a subject-matter expert on ________. To do so, I WILL spend 20 minutes each day reading trade publications, books, and/or reviews or speaking to subject matter experts.”
4. Always complete your work. “I WILL always finish my assigned tasks with complete assurance that they are error free and exactly what was requested. I WILL work unsupervised so as to instill confidence in my boss. “
5. Look for ways to make your boss a hero. “I WILL be a conduit through which ideas can flow that will make my boss a hero. I WILL not take credit, nor expect any recognition for my efforts.”
6. Be a problem “solver,” not a problem “identifier.” “I WILL actively look for problems I can solve, not just problems to point out.”
7. Expose problems with possible solutions. “I WILL fully do my research on a problem, and bring it to the attention of my boss with 3 possible solutions.”
8. Learn the ‘art’ of building bridges, not walls. “I WILL put others’ needs ahead of my own.”
9. Never initiate or participate in gossip. “I WILL never say anything derogatory about anyone. If those around me deride a fellow worker, I WILL find something good to say about that person. I WILL make my personal mantra: ‘If I can say nothing good, I will say nothing at all.'”
10. Always help anyone who asks for it. “I accept every personal encounter as ordained by a Higher Power. I WILL make it my objective to help this person any way that I can, with whatever resources I have, and with the entire weight of my physical, mental and emotional strength.”
11. Budget your energy, and learn when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no.’ “I understand that I only have a finite amount of physical and emotional energy. I WILL learn to effectively balance these between my professional life and my personal life. I WILL also learn the art of saying ‘yes’ to the important issues in life, and ‘no’ to the unimportant.”
12. Leave your personal issues at home. “I WILL never discuss my personal life or health-related issues with anyone at the office. To prevent this from happening, I WILL locate and develop friendships with at least 4 other people outside the workplace, with whom I can discuss my issues.”
13. Solve personality conflicts immediately. “I WILL initiate a private meeting with whomever has a grievance against me and strive to reach an amiable resolution in a totally professional manner.”
14. Learn who the powerbrokers are in the company. “I WILL become familiar with those individuals within the company who ‘make things happen.’ I WILL create a professional relationship with at least 2.”
15. Have a mentor and be a mentor. “I WILL have at least 2 mentors and be a mentor for at least 2.”
16. Take care of yourself. “I WILL take responsibility for my mental, spiritual and emotional well-being. I WILL get the proper exercise, eat right and learn to get my needed rest.”
17. Be fun to be around. “I WILL view life as a gift to be enjoyed every day. I WILL shun those thoughts and actions that rob me of my joy and dwell on what is wholesome. I WILL take control of my self-talk
and my attitude.”
18. Reward yourself and those around you. “I WILL find new and creative ways to reward myself for attained goals, as well as reward those around me when they attain theirs.”
19. Never invest emotional energy in the company. “The company has no soul. Therefore, I WILL not invest any emotional energy in my job. I have a business arrangement whereby they pay me each week for the work I agreed to perform. And I understand that they can terminate the arrangement at any time.”
20. Build for yourself a PowerNetwork. “Within 2 years, I WILL create for myself a PowerNetwork capable of making my career a success and my personal life fulfilling.”

21. Always be looking for your next job. “I WILL have a new position within 3 years at a 20% increase over my current income.”
Reprinted from ASSET 2.0, the Investment Recovery Business Journal, Vol. 3, 2008

© The Investment Recovery Association