Knowledge shared: 10 lessons that drive career success

Meetings are a waste of time, and other learnings from MTN group executive Herman Singh.

Herman Singh, group executive, innovation strategy at MTN, believes that knowledge shared returns in multiples. Here, he reflects on the professional and personal lessons he’s learnt in 38 years of work.
 
Reflection is a key part of leadership and the extraction of insight guides future actions fundamentally. Here are my 10 key learnings: 
 
1. Your degree is not your career. So reinvent yourself constantly and before you become obsolete. Most of what you learn in university or college is redundant by the time you graduate. Global knowledge is growing exponentially.
 
2. Your current employer is unlikely to be where you retire. So plan to replatform. Careers are getting shorter, the gig economy is dominating and FIRE (financially independent, retire early) rules.
 
3. You are only as good as results delivered, networks built and new skills learned. So execute, connect and immerse. Focusing on the key levers of success will accelerate progress. 
 
4. Being busy is not a measure of productivity. We confuse busyness with business. What we need is time to think. So prioritise thinking about thinking.
 
5. Meetings are generally an amazing waste of time. Decline more often and be more discerning. Only a small portion of a meeting delivers value for you. So why are you there? 


 
6. Managing perceptions is as important as delivering reality. Be mindful of how you are seen by others. Optics in some roles can be critical. 
 
7. If you are not saving at least 20 percent of income a year you are heading for a serious train smash. So start to save early to get compounding on your side. The economy is exponential. So you should mimic this with your wealth creation. 
 
8. Your personal brand is an incredibly important asset. Invest and protect it. You are the most important product that you will ever work on. Get it right. 
 
9. Hierarchies, job descriptions and titles are meaningless. Don’t be precious about it, It’s what you make of it. Being mindful of Ego can help manage the consequences of the inevitable restructures . 
 
10. Three years is enough for any job. So make yourself redundant fast. Yiu neer yi learn, perform, deliver ascend.

Use it, don’t use it but remember it.

And here’s a bonus one:

11. If you are not giving back then you are just taking. And that’s not sustainable. Invest in those around you. Knowledge shared is returned in multiples.