Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

For information on partnering with, please contact us.

Success Like Growing Water Bamboo

With the close of 2012 approaching, many of us will plan for the arrival of 2013 by making a new year's resolution or two.

For most people, however, the annual attempt to start fresh and turn over a new leaf will fail. According to the Opinion Corporation of Princeton, of the 62 percent of people who make New Year's resolutions, a mere 8% are successful. But maybe you can put yourself into that 8 percent.
After more than a dozen years of working with and studying successful people, teams and organizations, thought leader and inspirational speaker Greg Bell believes that giant timber bamboo farmers can teach us a lot about what it takes to make our resolutions stick.

Their motto is: "If you water giant timer bamboo in the first year, nothing happens. If you water the second year, nothing happens. If you water the third year, nothing happens. But when you water the bamboo the fourth year, it will rocket up an astonishing 90 feet in only 60 days."

With that in mind, Bell founded The Water the Bamboo Center for Leadership and is author of Water the Bamboo: Unleashing the Potential of Teams and Individuals.

 As he explains, "Water the Bamboo is a metaphor for success based on the contention that success is fueled by creating unshakable motivation and persistence, developing laser-like focus to avoid distractions, and being fully committed to pursuing your goal."

Bell suggests these proven steps to help all of us kick aside the "woulda, coulda and shoulda's" and make this year's resolutions stick:
> Have a compelling vision of what you want to achieve: After all, if you don't know what you are working towards, how will you know whether you're making progress?

> Delineate goals:  Pinpointing mini-goals helps ensure you get where you want to go.  Instead of setting out to exercise every day of the week for an hour, commit to exercising for ten minutes five times a week. Then, once you get in the habit of fulfilling this mini goal, increasing it by ten minutes will be easier since you have already begun forming the habit of exercise.
> Believe in yourself and your vision: Whether you believe you will be successful or you believe you won't --- you're right. Believing will give you the energy and effort to achieve success.

> Strengthen supportive relationships:  No person is an island.  Make a list of the people who can help you achieve your goal and work on keeping those relationships strong.

> Have self-discipline: As Theodore Roosevelt said, "With self-discipline most anything is possible."  Great achievement and success are largely the consequence of self-discipline.

> Will it to happen: "I will" are two very powerful words. Wanting something to happen is one thing; Willing something to happen is quite another.

> Be optimistic: Successful people don't throw pity parties. They see challenges as opportunities.  They focus on creating solutions amidst the obstacles. They remain hopeful, energetic and motivated in the face of "negaholics."

> Commit:  Commitment is the bridge between desire and accomplishment.  Making resolutions stick takes unwavering commitment and adopting a non-negotiable approach to reaching your goal. No excuses, no holding back, no sabotaging your own success.



Keep Eye on Next Career

Free Online Course Teaches Small Biz Growth