Showing Up

There is an old saying that “80% of life is showing up.” As it turns out, there are a number of similar quotes quoting numbers ranging between 75% and 90%, depending on who says it.  But either way, the idea is that showing up is one of the best things you can do to be successful in life. I propose that it’s also important in business school and in law school.

Today, showing up matters more than ever before. In the age of the Internet many people think they sending emails, writing wall posts and liking comments suffices. That it keeps them connected with friends and serves as a proxy for doing things in person.  But in my view, that’s not good enough. Particularly if you told someone that you would be there.

This is particularly important in business school, where being there really counts. In business school we have lots of events, way too many team meetings, and lots of classes that are not only in the form of lectures but also case-based sessions. Sessions that require participation. Necessitate being engaged. And need active discussion to be at their best.

You can also show up in other ways. At Kellogg specially, showing up means getting involved in clubs. Going to events. Raising your hand during a case, and not only responding but making a  point and taking a stand. Likewise it means meeting speakers after class, and getting business cards. It means sitting with new people in the public areas and meeting the person next to you in class. All things that are easy to do but that many people don’t take the effort to do.

The thing is, it’s easy not to do them. You get busy with other things. You get in the habit of not doing them. And you don’t make them priorities. But on the other hand, if you do those things, you’ll usually be pleasantly surprised. People will reciprocate. Other students will engage. You’ll learn more. And in the end, you’ll have momentum and accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

That’s what I mean by Showing Up. 

Do you plan to “Show up” on Monday? I bet your competition will.

Saturday, January 7th, 2012 Careers

2 Comments to Showing Up

Jeremy C Wilson
January 8, 2012

Comment from a friend of mine via email

“Jeremy, Liked your post on Showing Up. Good advice and insight.”

Jeremy C Wilson
January 9, 2012

@Jeremy C Wilson Thanks George. Much appreciated.

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.

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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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