The Key to Success: Happiness
Being successful in today’s competitive business world takes more than applying what one has learned in the classroom. Success also means finding out what makes you happy.
“The big thing you ought to be thinking is what makes you happy and then figuring out what it is that makes you happy and how will it make a difference in your life,” said Pat Gaines, President of Boeing Korea and Vice President of Boeing International as well as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea.
Speaking before a standing room only audience in the fourth floor auditorium, Gaines talked about his career at Boeing and shared insights into his own rise with the company which students at SolBridge could use for their own personal successes.
One of the challenges and rewards of working for such a large international company Gaines pointed out is that most of the employees are global hires; therefore the company on a day-to-day basis embraces its global diversity—something that all SolBridge students can relate to in their classes and dorm life.
“You realize the value of having a global staff in its diversity and its value,” Gaines said, “and how to best utilize it.”
To be sure, one of the things that makes working at Boeing an incredible place to work are its employees—something Gaines stresses when he talks to employees.
“I ask them to tell me why you wouldn’t recommend your children or your friends to work for Boeing,” he said. “Everyone gets to have a say at Boeing.”
Gaines rise to become the president of Boeing Korea started with his passion for flying as young boy when he wanted to be a pilot. After he graduated from the West Point Academy, he ended up flying Chinooks (helicopters) in Korea during the 1980s and had his first chance to observe firsthand, the progress and spirit evolving in Korea. Despite his interest in flying, Gaines had his sights on other horizons.
“I discovered that I liked managing people more than flying,” he said. “The best thing about being a manager for me is developing people when you see someone you helped out along the way. That makes me happy.”
Although it can sometimes get lonely when you devote so much of your time to a career, Gaines pointed out to be successful also means to have a balance of life.
“It is very important never lose sight of your family and friends and to have open discussions with your mentors try to find networks of people,” he said.
When it comes to managing people and choosing the right people for the job, one of the most important things is the necessary skill sets for managers—something which can be applied to the soft skills emphasized at SolBridge: managing a diverse work force; how to managing teams, and having the right attitude.
In the end, he emphasized that no matter what one does in life, one of the most important things is one’s happiness.
“Think about your three worst classes or professors you really did not enjoy and ask yourself, ‘why didn't I enjoy this?’” he said. “Then, think about the three best things you have done and what was it that made you happy? What are those things that make you really happy? Start mapping out a career that has those attributes. Your goal in life should be to come to work every day with a smile on your face.”