There were a number of years where I wanted to move into a senior leadership position within the organizations where I worked. My number one strength was “Strategy” – outperforming competitors, assuming responsibility for profit/loss, making our way to the forefront of the Human Capital Management industry.
But something was wrong. I was making no headway. Mynetworking and relationship building skills were in the toilet. Key decisionswere being made and I wasn’t consulted. My leaders were busy doing otherthings. I wanted to ask for help, but I didn’t know how. What could I do? Applyfor a new job? Attempt at lateral move? Figure out which group had the mostvisibility to senior leaders?
I tried to analyze (over analyze?) the senior leaders withinmy company. What was it they were doing differently? Was it the way they spoke,the subjects they talked about? What were they reading at night or on the trainto work?
Or was it more about who they spend their time with? How did they develop their professional network? Who did I need to know?
The process was confounding. I wondered again… how can I askfor help?
In the end, I left. It was simply too difficult to figureout… and I knew there were other places where it would be easier to figure out.
In the end, my learnings were as follows:
1. No one will care about your professional growthmore than you will.
2. Don’t wait for something to change. Make changehappen for yourself.
3. Set time limits on your patience and your goals.
4. Don’t take “no” for an answer; find a way.
5. Don’t talk about problems until you also haveideas and solutions.
6. Measure every impact that you make; for seniorleaders, data makes the world go ‘round.
7. Never underestimate the power of a professional network.
8. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true: It’s notabout what you know, but who you know.
9. Never pass up an opportunity to meet someone whocould change your life.
10. Act with kindness and generosity, but neversettle.
More next week!