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Matching great work with a great life

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Milton Glaser is a leader in the visual arts who communicates in deceptively simple ways. His “I [heart] New York” design, for example, took root over the years and then rose to a whole new level of meaning after Sept. 11.

Here are Glaser’s lessons for success:
  1. Work only for people you like. Glaser used to think that you had to behave as a “professional”: to keep at arm’s length from colleagues and clients. Later, he realized that the opposite is true. Your best work comes from sharing genuine affection and common ground.

  2. Pick your spots with toxic people. If you notice that you have less energy after tangling with poisonous personalities, avoid them when possible; prepare yourself mentally if you can’t avoid them.

  3. Keep “professionalism” in its place. Professionalism is about repeating success and reducing risk instead of covering new ground, which is what leaders do.

  4. Don’t cling to fashion. It’s absurd to be loyal to a certain style. Give people what they expect in a way that doesn’t compromise your integrity and purpose.

  5. Value doubt over certainty. If you think you’ve achieved enlightenment, you’ve probably just hit a wall of limitation.

  6. Tell the truth. Don’t tolerate misrepresentation.
—Adapted from “Ten Things I Have Learned,” Milton Glaser,

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