Ernie Dianastasis – 90 in 90
Passion + Planning = Life Success
Exploit Your Strengths
The education system wastes too much time focusing on people’s challenges (weaknesses), instead of helping them exploit their strengths. People like to do what they are good at and are good at what they like to do.
Invest in “Life Success” Training
What I mean by that is to take courses like Negotiating, Time Management, Resource Management, Project Management, Goal-setting, etc. It is amazing how little time people spend learning these critical life skills, which are sadly another shortcoming of our education system nationally.
Build Great Relationships — they trump everything but performance!
Even in 2020, people still want to do business with people they like. Texting, Email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram all have a role to play, but no great relationships are typically formed this way. Take the time and effort to build true and meaningful relationships. The payoff will be enormous.
Figure Out the Big Picture
One of the things I love about Leadership Delaware is that it teaches its Fellows how the dots connect between the Public, Private, Academic and Nonprofit sectors. Having a big picture view is essential to reaching your goals in 5-10 years instead of 15-20 years.
Epomoní kai dýnami, me pollés prosefchés
Something I learned from my little Greek grandmother 40 years ago. The literal translation in English is “patience and fortitude, with lots of prayers.” This is a critical concept for getting through the low points in life, and there will be low points. No one is immune. It is all about how you handle them.
Innovate in your Workforce
I found that bringing neuro-diverse people into my workforce brought new creative approaches to both traditional and new challenges. Neuro-diverse people, typically 75-80% under- or un-employed, have incredible talents and an uncanny ability to innovate.
We are All Salespeople
It cracks me up when people make light of salespeople. The irony of it is that in the end we are all in “sales”. A boy ‘sells’ a girl on why she should marry him, a kid ‘sells’ his parents on why they deserve a new toy, you ‘sell’ the bank on why you deserve a new business loan. Get off your high horse, embrace the importance of sales, and get good at it!
John Doe Inc. /Susie Q Inc.
View yourself like your own standalone company with a balance sheet, assets and liabilities. Most importantly, your standalone company needs a board of directors. This board should be a collection of people you trust and who can each bring a unique skill or insight to your life journey. All great companies have great boards. Great people understand this and create the same for themselves.
and then Plan some more
Plan your strategy, set your goals, then map it out for three years, one year, next month, next week, each day. Take time each day to reflect and adjust the plan accordingly.
The Secret Ingredient
Take your passion and strong planning, and mix in heart! How many wonderful concepts, companies, and even movements have been created when one person mixes in heart. Imagine if everyone had a little more heart? Imagine if everyone had a lot more heart! Several years ago, I decided to employ someone on the autism spectrum into a technology job. Today, I’ve employed more than 200 people on the spectrum and The Precisionists is now on a mission to employ more than 10,000 people with developmental disabilities by the year 2025. Passion and Planning will guarantee you personal Life Success, but add in heart and you might just change your life, and hopefully the lives of many others.
Ernest (Ernie) Dianastasis is founder and CEO of The Precisionists Inc., a global administrative services and information technology company focused on employing 10,000 people with disabilities by the year 2025. In this role, Ernie is responsible for creating meaningful careers for people with disabilities while at the same time delivering world-class service to customers. Ernie also serves on the University City Science Center board and the DE Business Roundtable Executive Committee.
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