Rabbi Yaacov Cohen, Executive Director at Talmudical Academy of Baltimore, shared 10 secrets for success that he learned from Mrs. Reva Gold A”H, who spent half a century as the legendary and beloved secretary at TA. This article originally appeared on LinkedIn around 7 years ago and reveals the epitome and legacy of the great person the Baltimore community lost. The article coincided with the tribute paid to her at TA’s 99th Anniversary Banquet that year.
She is at her desk bright and early every morning. She waits eagerly for “her boys” to arrive at school, so that she can spring into action, and be the not-so-behind-the-scenes secretary who has helped keep the school together for so many years.
Mrs. Reva Gold is nearing the end of a half century as a secretary at Talmudical Academy of Baltimore, a private Jewish school for boys with over 1,000 students. She has watched thousands of students come and go, and has been lucky enough to play a role in so many of their lives. She has had a career and a life that has brought her more happiness and fulfillment than many of the richest and most famous people in the world. She is beloved by the Academy alumni far and wide, and it is no wonder why.
As I have watched her over the last few years, I have observed many things that I believe are the secrets to her happiness and her life’s success story. Are you looking to improve your relationships at home or at work? Are you looking to become more successful in your career? Are you striving each day to become a better person? Do you go through your day wanting to feel more fulfilled?
Here are 10 little nuggets from Mrs. Gold that are sure to help us all be better, more successful people.
1. Have Passion – Mrs. Gold has a passion for life, for her job, and for helping those around her. In life and at your job, you will have much greater success if you have – and show – your passion for it. Not only will you grow, but you will inspire those around you as well
2. Love What You Do – It’s almost all she talks about. Mrs. Gold LOVES her job. It’s hard to come to work each day, and even harder to perform well, if you don’t love what you do. Do what you love, and love what you do.
3. Keep it Simple – There is nothing fancy, nothing complicated. Just a simple commitment to getting the job done, one task at a time. Life doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Take one step at a time, focusing on the task at hand.
4. Give More Than You Take – “How can I help you?” is Mrs. Gold’s Modus Operandi, and her greatest joy is in the act of giving to others. You will have much satisfaction if you see your role as a giver, rather than a taker.
5. Dress For Success – Mrs. Gold comes to work every day dressed as if she is meeting the President, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Always look neat, put together, and well-dressed. Not only will you be taken more seriously by those around you, but you will be more confident in your own abilities as well.
6. The Little Stuff Matters – Nothing pleases Mrs. Gold more than giving Band-Aids or pretzels to a student who needs them, or taking care of any other small detail that may make their day a little better. Paying attention to the small details are often as important – or sometimes even more so – than the bigger things in life.
7. Attitude Counts – You will always find Mrs. Gold upbeat, even when there are things not to be so happy about. Attitude affects your day, your effectiveness, and rubs off on those around you. Keep it positive. A negative attitude usually doesn’t fix the problem anyway.
8. Arrive Early – Mrs. Gold is at her desk by 6:30 AM, ready to take on the day. Getting an early start is an effective way to get things done before the daily distractions kick in.
9. Always With A Smile – You will always catch Mrs. Gold with a smile on her face. G-d gave you a smile for a reason. Use it. Often.
10. Humility Is The Greatest Tool – The most respected and listened to people around, are often the most humble. Although Mrs. Gold has been the glue that has held so many things together for almost 50 years, she never sees herself as having done anything grand or spectacular. As a leader and influencer, humility is your greatest tool for success.