Monday, April 30, 2012

Your Career & Role Models

Young managers have a job that is sometimes not clear to them. That job is to drive their career and do whatever they need to do in order to progress. In a way that expresses their values and allows them to be congruent with those core values.

This is a personal challenge that we all face and seldom recognise as an obligation to our own future and should not be seen as the duty of others to further our career.

So how does a young manager (or anyone for that matter), learn about what they need to know to manage their career?

There are many issues that will relate to this but the one that I want to focus on right now is that of role models.

For a manager in a larger business, there may be supervisors and managers or directors above them to whom they report. Or there may be older people they manage that are particularly good at some aspect of what they do either at work or in the community.  Seek out people who display excellence in some manner or are in a role that you would like to have some day.

So how might you start? 

If you have several managers or directors of a business then you will have noticed that some have a special knack for some element of the business. It may not be apparent what that is, but the chances are that they have some ability that has put them where you might like to be in the future.  You may not know what that is until you have spent some quality time with them getting to know them and how they operate. What do they do and how did they come to that method of doing what they do?
What works well for them, or conversely, what's not working so well for them? Positive lessons and lessons of what doesn't work are all valuable and sometimes the context is all that makes the difference.

Make a list of directors or other business owners you admire
Arrange to meet them one on one for lunch and get to know them a little and see if they are open to help you get to understand them and how they have achieved their success.
Make notes of all that you learn and don't censor yourself about what's important. Patterns may only develop later as you look back so make a note of everything.
Record the sessions if you can. If not make notes immediately after the session.
Some things to look for when analyzing your sessions:

What beliefs does this person hold about life and business?
What values do they display in their dealings?
In what esteem are they held by others?
What led them to hold their beliefs?
 What advice do they have for someone starting out?
What would they do differently if they were starting now?
What would they do the same if they were starting now?

 Your Life Plan

As you collate your notes give thought to what you have learned as you set about planning your goals for your career and your life generally.

This is a valuable resource for you.
Make the most of it.

And let this inform your own values and describe your best path forward in your life.

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