What I’ve Learned in 2012

What you’re doing now is more important than what you used to do.

Your past accomplishments can open doors and help you get your calls taken and emails answered. That job you had a few years ago can be the source of some great stories. But the work you’re doing today is what really matters.

There is value in being discreet.

I heard a story this year of a business owner whose attorney shared confidential information with another lawyer in his firm. That second lawyer shared the tidbit with his wife, who passed it along to her daughter, who knew several employees at the business, one of whom delivered it back to the business owner. When you are trusted with a secret, keep it.

Presentations can be just as good without a PowerPoint.

I saw PowerPoints (or Keynotes or Prezis) this year that were actually distracting from speakers’ messages. Frequently, info that looks okay on a computer screen two feet away looks horrible—or worse, indecipherable—on a screen fifty feet away. I had a PowerPoint-less meeting last week where people were actually listening to me, actively taking notes and absorbing what I was saying.

Multitasking means more than it used to.

It doesn’t just mean writing a report while you’re on a conference call and monitoring CNN video at the same time you’re signaling across the room that, yes, you’d love another cup. It doesn’t just mean doing media relations, strategic planning, email marketing and social media for the same client. It also means working a main gig, doing some freelancing on the side, teaching a night course and selling your handiwork on Etsy—or a similar combo of tasks.

Everybody’s job is on the line.

It’s true. It’s important to keep your resume and/or portfolio updated. Archive your work. Stay in touch with vital contacts. Work your LinkedIn account. Even if you’re happy doing what you’re doing, keep an eye and an ear open to opportunities that may arise.

The iPhone is pretty cool.

When my old phone died in June, I finally upgraded to an iPhone. I was familiar with most of its features—many friends and associates had proudly showed me theirs over the years. But until I had one of my own, I was not fully aware how functional they are. My iPhone envy was cured… until my wife got an iPhone 5 in October!

Okay, that’s not all I’ve learned during 2012, but a handful of highlights.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Next post here on January 3, 2013.

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One thought on “What I’ve Learned in 2012

  1. Nick Gilham says:

    David, these are some great learnings. Thanks for sharing. Hope your 2013 is even more successful than your 2012.

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