Do the Best You Can With What You’ve Got, Where You’re At

If you’re like most Americans, Macy’s was in your living room last Thursday.  The annual Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City is a must watch in our house.  While Cathy and I enjoy the balloons, floats and marching bands we particularly like the early part of the show that features performances from the casts of current Broadway musical and the Radio City Rockettes.

Terry Lundgren is the CEO of Macy’s.  Here are his best three pieces of life and career success advice…

  • Bloom where you are planted.  Do the best job in your current position.
  • Your own attitude is the one think you can control.
  • Take time to mentor the young people coming up behind you.

While I think all three pieces of advice are great, I particularly like the first one — do the best job you can in your current position.  I often tell my career mentoring clients that, when it comes to career success, the biggest myth is that “good performance is enough, my work will speak for itself” and that they need to actively manage their careers.

I believe this is true — you do need to manage you career because good performance is not enough.  On the other hand, while not being enough to guarantee a successful life and career, good performance is the key that unlocks the door to success.  That’s why I agree with Terry Lundgren.  You have to do a an outstanding job in whatever job you’re in if you’re going to catch the eye of senior executives and position yourself for a promotion.

I often tell the story of how I got a promotion because I ran the United Way campaign for my company one year.  This was a “volunteer” position I was asked to take on in addition to my regular duties.  At first I wasn’t happy about it.  Who wants to ask their fellow employees for money?  But then I chose to view it as an opportunity and set out to do the absolute best job I could.  I worked hard and was successful  My campaign set a record for contributions and participation.

As my company was very committed to the United Way, senior executives would show up to the events I coordinated.  A president of one of the divisions of my company was impressed with the talk I did and the innovative manner in which I conducted the campaign.  He ended up offering a job as head of Training and Development for his division — a significant promotion.

All of this came about because I followed Terry Lundgren’s first piece of advice.  I did the very best I could in a job I was asked to do.

The same holds true for you.  Wake up every day committed to doing the very best you can do in your current job.  Put in the extra time and effort it takes to become an outstanding performer.  People will notice and you’ll be on your way to creating the successful career you deserve.

Your career mentor,


PS: You can download a free copy of my popular book, Your Success GPS at  When you do, I’ll begin sending you daily motivational quotes and give you a free basic membership in my career mentoring site.


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