Vail Valley: Constancy, the essential requirement for success
Vail, CO, Colorado
“The direction and constancy of the will is what really matters and intellect and feeling are only important insofar as they contribute to that.”
– Evelyn Underhill
When you spend more than three decades in business, in the Vail Valley and nationwide, you have the opportunity to become associated with an incredible variety of people and work styles.
Some show up (intellectually) for 10 minutes a day and are so brilliant that it’s the best 10 minutes of your day. You know the type – these people just seem to be able to cut to the chase, analyze the situation in the blink of an eye and offer some unique and profound solution. I’ve known two people like that and I’d work with them anytime, anywhere, forever.
At the opposite end of the spectrum from our 10-minute geniuses, mostly reliable, and ultimately very productive people make up the vast core of our workforce today, I think. They are functional, usually pleasant and when not bogged down with busywork or personal issues, and their experience and general command of their bailiwick is most often grounds for praise and reward. Work wouldn’t happen without them.
Somewhere in the middle are my favorite types. These people are driven, but don’t have 24/7, “type A” personalities (they tend to demand way too much attention and energy to let those around them thrive). No, the people I’m thinking about just always seem to be there. They are just a little early for work every day. They stay just a little late.
They take interest in everyone else’s tasks and goals, but pretty much focus on their own, and often, you can rely on them come to the table with good, sane, immediately applicable ideas. The drive they have is to be dependable, accurate, honest (with themselves and others) and productive.
Most of the time, they don’t spend a lot of time on their personal appearance, though they are always neat and professional. When you look for them, they’re usually at their workstations and busy. You may have to remind them to take some time off and sometimes to break for lunch, and most other people like them, respect them, admire them and rely on them when they need help. They need little, if any, supervision and never need motivation. Their loyalty is unquestioned and unassailable.
I used to think age was linked to this behavior. I’m sure you’ve heard of Gen X, Gen Y or this Gen or that being difficult to deal with, but really, I’ve encountered people like this among old hands and those fresh out of school. Now I don’t think age has a thing to do with it.
I think characteristics like these are a mystical mix of innate will, imitation of the exemplary behavior of parents or other influential role models and a solid work ethic that guides these individuals to maintain their dignity, put service above self and put in an honest day’s work for their wages.
Curiously, these people also seem to carry that stuff into their personal lives. You never hear stories from them about why they’re late or what their significant others did to cause them worry, or about problems they have with roommates or landlords or parents or siblings or any of that. They just seem to have their lives in order.
I guess I’m showing my conservative bent in my admiration for these people, but I’m in business. Here we need discipline, order, imagination and a bunch of other stuff that inspires great work, teamwork and often selflessness.
I think these constant warriors are the heart and soul of enterprise. I wish we could recognize them better and more often, but I’m sure that would just be embarrassing. So, for those of you get up every morning at the same time, have enough gas in your car to get you to the workplace, bring your best to work, make it possible for your workplace to function and your co-workers to make a living, take heart. It’s constancy and will that provide most of the rewards in life and your commitment to those values will never let you, or anyone else down.
Keep the faith. Keep it up. Thank you.
Michael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.
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