If you watched the Emmy Awards last night, you might have noticed that the winners revealed their secrets to success.
Here's what I noticed:
1. Winning takes teamwork. Every winner went right up to the stage and thanked their team. That got me thinking, who would I thank? If you won an award for doing your job well, who would you thank? Who is on your team at home and at work that pushes you and supports you to be all you can be? The right team also is critical to career success and work life balance. If there are not enough people on your team, do something about it.
2. Every winner dressed the part. My favorite part of awards shows is seeing how celebrities dress and act when they are their true selves. Do they successfully pull off the role of winner? Look at how you dress and act at work. Do you look and act like a winner? If you set a goal of becoming a law firm partner or landing a new client, you need to act like you're already in the role. This doesn't mean go out and spend a fortune on clothes. It means carefully watching those who win and knowing what you need to change to make it happen for you.
3. Winners get inspiration from others. Emmy winners openly talk about who inspires them, even if it's their competition. Last night, Damian Lewis of Homeland, winner for lead actor in a drama, said he was inspired by the other lead actors nominees: "What an extraordinary honour to be in a category with these golden actors setting a gold standard in acting in a golden age of TV." Are you looking around your workplace or studying your competition for inspiration?
4. Emmy winners overcome periods of doubt. There are exceptions, but most Emmy winners have had low points in their careers. Mad Men's Jon Hamm, for example, spent much of the mid-1990s in Los Angeles as a struggling actor. Unlike other actors his age, he looked older and was turned away for youth-oriented productions. Hamm's Mad Men castmate Eric Ladin has said that one of the reasons he looks up to Jon is that while he "made it" later than most actors, Hamm never gave up on acting. You may be out of work for a brief period and may even need to reinvent yourself, but don't give up on career success.
5. Losing isn't all bad. HBO's Girls creator and star Lena Dunham is only 26 and was nominated for 3 Emmys for directing, acting and writing. That's a HUGE accomplishment. She didn't win but she did get a lot of buzz. Sometimes we don't realize that just being on the radar is a step in the right direction. If a deal doesn't come through immediately or you don't get the title you're seeking, stay with it. Sometimes just getting noticed is a win.
I think the coolest part of being an Emmy winner is that the title sticks with you for life. For example, from now on, every time anyone introduces Claire Danes, last night's winner for lead actress in a drama, they will say "Emmy Winner Claire Danes." While I'd love "Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist" as part of my title, I'm equally happy with being introduced as Carly's mom. I think I play that part well. In the end, for me, that's what being a winner is all about.