Best Career Advice: Don't be a Victim

Derek Correia, CEO, Source Marketing

The single best advice I ever heard was from Aylwin Lewis, who was a fantastic leader during his tenure as COO at Pizza Hut.

The piece of advice?

“Don’t be a victim.”

It was a statement of how you handle adversity, which you will most certainly have, quite frequently, in any career. Those who act as if things are happening TO them, are victims. They talk about how this went wrong, or that didn’t go their way, or so-and-so blew it, circumstances, etc. Nobody wants to listen to that, and those people are not effective leaders.

When you don’t think of yourself as a victim, and, importantly, you don’t act like one, you still recognize circumstances and even appreciate those beyond your control. The difference is you don’t focus on what’s happening TO you, you focus on what YOU CAN DO to drive desirable outcomes in light of the circumstances. How to overcome them, capitalize on them, end-run around them, hunker down, completely change strategy, or whatever it might take to prevail, including, if necessary, redefining success.

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