To Be The Exception, Follow Strong Guiding Principles

Gertrudis Achecar
6 min readDec 12, 2021

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The last couple of weeks I have been reflecting on what exactly guides me as I make decisions, create habits, and set goals. Enter guiding principles, a concept I have come across frequently in the last few days.

Guiding principles are precepts that guide an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategy, type of work, or top management. They are a set of values that establishes a framework for expected behavior and decision-making.

“He that always gives way to others will end in having no principles of his own.” Aesop

Here are my guiding principles; these have remained constant at least all my adult life. The few times I have tried to deviate from any of them, things did not work out.

1) Become first what you want

When I wanted a promotion at work, the first advice I got was to start acting and thinking as if I had already that title (i.e., to become that new title). This was the polite way to encourage me to step up my game.

I started with allowing people to help me. Instinctively, I knew that to achieve greater things I needed to leverage the talent around me. I was extremely uncomfortable at first. Doing things by myself, being self-sufficient (which is a complete myth by the way) made me proud.

The first time I created the vision, mission, strategy for my team, I let a colleague guide me through the process and even put together a template I could follow.

When I presented my boss with a solid draft, I immediately knew she was impressed. She was not expecting this approach and thought leadership from someone at my level. The seed was planted.

“Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into the kind of person who can.” Anonymous

2) Do what is easy

In many of my past roles, I presented to senior management at least monthly on the topics my team and I covered. I was very familiar with the information and knew who was on point for each item.

Gertrudis Achecar

My mission is to help women transform their inner voice from critic to champion, so they can confidently realize and fulfill their potential.