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While the road to success is strewn with a variety of landmines, some of the more obvious ones need to be highlighted for the greater good. Here goes:

  • Poor attitude: This gets in the way of recruitment and progression as well as relationships. Remember the old adage “Hire for attitude, train for skill?” That’s a fact; you can teach people most of what they need to know to get the job done. However, the one thing that spoils it all is poor attitude – one that is negative or disgruntled or disruptive. How are you keeping things positive?
  • Failure to read: There is just so much going on in your field, your industry, current affairs (everything impacts everything else), science and technology, etc, that to be unaware is akin to asking to be made redundant. Ignorance can never be an excuse, and with the easy availability of information at the click of a mouse, there is no justifiable reason for being unaware. Read, read, read.
  • Sense of entitlement: This is especially true for people with degrees from prestigious universities, high GPAs and gold medals. You have to compete and prove yourself every day and all the time. Academic achievements are just that – academic achievements. This is the real world and business requires results.
  • Expecting others to motivate you: If anyone were to motivate you, wouldn’t they do it for their own ends? You must know your own goals and why they are important to you. You should be the only one motivating yourself – others can only ‘encourage’ you along the way.

– Leon Menezes
The writer is a senior HR practitioner, executive coach and writer.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on November 25, 2012.