I was fortunate to hear John Harmon speak last year. Harmon, the Founder, President, and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, was speaking as part of Berkeley College’s Larry L. Luing School of Business Leadership Lecture Series. Harmon’s topic was positive outcomes from diversity, equity, and inclusion in the business world. But, because he was speaking to an audience in part made up of college students, he started with his general keys to success.
Here are my favorite takeaways from Harmon’s presentation:
- Always be a student, be ever-learning.
- Don’t ever be afraid to ask a question.
- Confidence is good, arrogance is bad, empathy is critical.
- Sit in front of the room. Don’t hide in the back. If you’re afraid your weaknesses will come out, they’re going to come out anyway.
- Hard work, persistence, and setting and achieving goals are critical.
- Align your words and actions.
- Integrity and honesty are what you do when no one else is looking.
- A loser is a winner that gave up; a winner is a loser that didn’t quit.
I loved his summarizing comment: “When it comes to building a structure, the deeper the foundation, the higher the building can be.”Harmon’s keys to success are all pieces of the foundation we build for our future life – as with a building, build a deep foundation and go higher!