September 29, 2023

Make the most of where you are

Have you ever heard the expression, “bloom where you are planted?”

It means to do your best in the position or situation you are in. To me, this phrase is relevant to leadership.

As a young leader, I was eager to move up fast. Many of you know what I mean when I say I once had a job that I did not like everything about.

However, I had to realize that many times you will not like everything about your job, but you can zone in on the things you do like and become an expert at them. Learning to stay planted in that job and use that experience to learn new tasks is so important. It can lead to some character-building experiences and help you gain insight about what you really are capable of doing.

As I climbed my way up the corporate ladder, I worked in many departments which now have become so valuable to me in my current position. I can relate to our staff and understand where they are coming from because I have been there.

When I mentor many college-aged students, I tell them to just get your foot in the door and apply yourself, stay focused and do your best. From this, new doors will begin to open and you can bloom further.

What advice would you give to a new leader/manager or employee starting out?
Please comment below and let me know!

To keep abreast of my blog posts, please click on the subscribe button at the top of this page on the right.

Thank you,

Chantell Cooley

Chantell Cooley is the vice president of Columbia Southern University Education Group and the vice president of Training and Development at CSU. Her blog Empower U is updated weekly on Monday mornings.




  1. Rafael V. Acosta

    I once asked my mentor what advice he could give me when I assumed the leadership role of managing an entire Air Force Reserve Medical Unit. He said, “Remember these three things and you will do well. Always keep the boss informed, remember you are a representative of the organization, and treat everyone as if they were the most important thing in your life.” I live by those rules to this day. I always keep my boss abreast of professional and personal issues. It maintains a rapport that is so crucial while ensuring your boss is not caught off guard when issues arise. Reminding yourself that you are an ambassador to your organization is just as vital. When others view you as a trusted advocate of the organization, you will rise above all. Lastly, you must be prepared for the constant interruptions that will undoubtedly happen. Everyone is going to stop by and ask you for guidance, support and sometimes to complain. Treat them as if there is nothing more pressing on your “to-do” list. It’s obviously important to them, so make time!

  2. Chantell Cooley Post author


    Thank you for your comments and wise advice to leaders. I as well believe in keeping your boss informed. I appreciate you having the “open door policy” which welcomes your staff to come in to feel free to talk. Great advice!

    Have you completed your degree with CSU at this time?

    Your CSU Family,


    1. Rafael V. Acosta

      Thank you for your question Ms. Cooley. I am pleased to announce that I have only one more course before I attain my Associates in Applied Science in Business degree. In fact, I’m proud to say that I submitted my petition to graduate and registered for the commencement ceremony scheduled for October 25th 2013! So, I hope to see you there. Incidentally, I have also enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Management program to further my education. CSU has certainly met my expectations of being an online University with unlimited possibilities!

  3. Roderick Bryant

    My advice would be to first of all not to even apply for a manager position if you’re not passionate about what you do, it’s not always about the money. Secondly, your employees need to know that your level of selfless service isn’t predictable, in other words, they know that if it’s after five or on the weekends not to even bother calling you because your on your personal time now. Lastly, your employees need to know that you are fair and impartial, you don’t have favorites and you’re not afraid to say ” I don’t know” or “Thank you”. I could go on and on here but I think you get the meat and potatoes. Thanks and enjoy your weekend!

    1. Chantell Cooley Post author


      I totally agree with you about being passionate about your job. If you do go into management, you really have to learn to listen and deal with people and their needs. You really become their mentor as you guide and instruct them to move forward. Great advice!

      Your CSU Family,


  4. Max

    Learn what you were hired to do. Observe and understand the company’s culture. Be knowledgeable of the interconnection between departments/supervisors/customers/leadership etc. You should know who to go to if you have any questions. Treat everyone with respect and identify improvements. That’s a making of a good leader. ‘Always Learning…’

  5. Chantell Cooley Post author


    I like what you said about being knowledgeable of the interconnection between departments/supervisors/customers/leadership. Reaching outside of your department is huge! It builds this great connection that is internal causing staff to reach out to other staff as they need assistance. Here at CSU we continue to encourage this interaction between departments which builds relationships and in building those relationships we provide better customer service. Also, your comment about “Always Learning” is so true. I keep myself always learning as well!

    Great comments! Thank you for sharing!

    Your CSU Family,


  6. Chantell Cooley Post author


    I too am very sad to see how education has declined. That should be a huge wake up call to us all to do what we can to help educate others. Thank you for your post and your concern for the youth of our country.

    Your CSU Family,


  7. Philip Maw

    Good Morning Chantell Cooley
    Your “Empower U” is very inspiring. Currently I am a lecturer, teaching the students to become managers in Hospitality and tourism industry. At the same time, I am a CSU DBA students.
    Your article give me power and strength to continue one day at a time counting the blessing the Lord has provided us.

    One of the stories I shared at the end of this term was a very interesting.
    There was a man trying to save a scorpion, struggling in a small pond but whenever he tried to reach it, the scorpion attacked and sting him. But he didn’t give up, he kept trying to save it.
    Another passed by and saw him saving the scorpion. The man became very curious to know and asked him, why you wanted to save this scorpion? He answered, “I am kind because I am kind”. It has a beautiful message attached.

    We all are kind to someone who is kind to you but the man’s message was ‘ even someone is not kind to him, he will still be kind to him because he is kind, because he is kind.
    No matter he/she kind to us or not, we should still be kind to them, because we are kind, because we
    are kind”.

    This is my philosophy when we work in the hospitality industry, there will be a time, you will find rude and challenging customers, even if they are rude to me, I will still be kind to them, because I am kind because I am kind.

    Please continue sharing your story.
    Wish you a Merry Christmas and happy new year.

    with regards

  8. Kim Jackson

    I also believe in making the most out of any situation. When you apply yourself at anything that you desire and that interest you stay afloat and ask questions if you are not sure about things. Thank you for your inspiring post and willingness to help us out when needed.

  9. Doug Simpson

    Let me start by saying that you hit the nail on the head with this post. I have had many jobs, most I didn’t really enjoy, however I gave them my all every day. In so doing, I was able to move up and put myself in positions for new opportunities.
    My advice for new leaders, managers, and employees would be to follow your advice and also find a mentor. Having someone who has the experience and is willing to help guide you along the way is invaluable. Also you must learn to network with the right people. Whether it’s networking with people inside or outside of your company/organization, it can really pay dividends in the long run. I also recommend that every now and then you should go outside of your lane, so to speak, and gain additional experience. This shows others your willingness to try different things and portrays a level of self-confidence that many managers and leaders look for.
    All of these have served me well in my career, and I continuously use them for future advancement.

    Douglas Simpson, LIC, PCO