I recently met up with a long-time coaching client. He had just been appointed to a great new position and was excited to talk about how we could work together again.
The secret of his success? A focus on turning the lights on, rather than keeping them on.
My client's career path is testimony to one thing. Taking control by recognizing and working on your weaknesses. When we first met a number of years ago, he had just been promoted to a leadership role for the first time. At that point, he had become an expert developer and technical architect.
His boss saw the leadership potential, had promoted him and offered coaching support from yours truly. But my client was not so sure. He took a look at the operation he was now running and was preoccupied with the challenge of even understanding how to help his new team, let alone keeping things running. Sure, he had some ideas about making things run much better, but couldn't envision having the confidence to make changes.
Over the course of the next few months, we collaborated on a simple, candid assessment of his strengths and weaknesses, of his vision, and what role he would have to play to bring this about.
Great at analysis and design—budgeting and vision would not be a problem—but not so hot at collaboration. Aligning the team, and convincing peers and leadership would require selling skills. This is where we focused.
In later phases, we've worked on improving project leadership, delegation, capacity for 10x influence, and coaching.
I asked him last week how he would assess the progress he had made in this time.
"I can only measure my career progress in terms of the value I have achieved in the eyes of my customers and colleagues. I've gone from creating great features to renovating an entire technology operation. Then when things were working well, we 10x'ed our productivity by totally revamping the way we work. I still can't believe I had the confidence to take those risks. Now I have my dream job."
I can't tell you how sweet those words sounded to the coach.
WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER GOALS?
Answer these questions for yourself:
Where are you succeeding in your current work?
What would you like to change? The sky's the limit, so don't hold back.
How do your skills suit this ideal direction? Be honest and identify areas you need to improve on.
There are many directions you can go from here. My office hours are Friday 9-noon EST. Call me then on +1 647 400 2514 and I can point you in the right direction. It will only take 15 minutes.
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