I was reading Liz Ryan’s LinkedIn post this morning, “How to Job Hunt like a CEO” and it got me thinking about how all of Liz’s advice on career search and ownership also apply when you’re operating in the workplace. You should always act and be the CEO of your career even when you’re not actually looking for a job.
Embrace your fear and let go – What are you most fearful of? Most of us don’t embrace change and think we know it all, right? I’ve been just as guilty about “knowing it all”. Opening yourself up to listen to others is a strategy you’ll use throughout your career and life. Even though they may not always be necessarily right, you need to be open to considering the idea. It’s always better to listen to all sides and then make your decision. Reacting and not doing anything is not exactly acting like a CEO.
I hate that idea – Sure, most ideas never made it out of the office or document presentation. But there are always a few gems that can supercharge your business or division. I like involving my team in brainstorming sessions and keeping a running file of ideas – you never know when you might be able to implement. Your team will love the fact that their idea might get implemented. It’s better to be open, listen to new ideas and then formulate an opinion or recommendation before reacting.
Identify pain points – What are the pain points within your organization? How can you individually make an impact? How can your team make a difference? It doesn’t matter where you are in an organization to get a solution presented. If you’re aware of pain points that can be solved and processes that can be improved, be a loud voice and present your solution. Do it in a positive way – there’s nothing worse than new people, who come in and make observations without knowing the whole story. If you’re in a highly matrix driven organization, then get your manager to push your idea. All good leaders will give you credit. You might get that promotion or project you’ve been eyeing.
Reacting – Reacting is one of the characteristics that distinguishes executives from managers. There are times when decisions need to be made quickly but reacting to data or to someone else has never proven to yield positive results. Wait 24 hours before signing contracts or presenting a problem to your manager. Waiting sometimes can solve issues without you having to do anything. If you know what triggers you then create a post it and place it discreetly at your desk, so you can be reminded when you’re triggered again. Walk away and take a longer lunch or go get a coffee, getting a breath of fresh air can change your perspective.
These are just a few tips to help you be your own career CEO and advance faster. Who knows, you might enjoy your efforts even more and find collaboration with others will become easier and more satisfying.
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