This video from Simon Sinek on “Millennials in the Workplace” is making a ruckus on the internet. Sinek hits on including four factors preventing millennials from being successful in their careers. One reason is patience, a key characteristic of success.
In the workplace, patience is the ability to work hard at something for a long time knowing that mastery, fulfillment, and impact take years to develop. This ties into another concept that is critical—forward momentum. The two feed off one another.
Let’s say you’re looking to become the COO of a large organization. You’re fresh out of college and looking to climb the corporate ladder. Jumping straight to the COO level isn’t realistic; it’s akin to climbing a mountain in a single bound. This is where momentum comes in.
You build forward momentum in your career when you take one small step towards your goal. Start with the smallest project you can own within your company. Own it and do the best damn job you can. Next time, you’ll get assigned a bigger project. Again, you’re going to rock that one, which will lead to a bigger project and so on.
The tendency is to look at the top and think “Why don’t I get assigned the biggest projects?” We ignore the momentum that those at the top have built up over time. It takes years and years to build momentum, gain trust, and prove that you can deliver. The key is to start small and build forward momentum.