By Nancy Fredericks
Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.thrivewithnancy.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.
I often shake my head, chuckling at how ironic life is, but I’m sure you’ve bumped into it. Have you come to recognize that the steadfast, sometimes everyday stuff you take for granted sets the stage for your career to soar?
It’s easy to talk about today’s business uncertainties and their potential impact on you…. Living a career with any equanimity today is way more complicated and requires intentionality. And yet, that’s the very attitude needed.
If you find yourself off-balance, you instinctively trust who you are and what you know already works for you.
There’s nothing innately wrong with this response. After all, these skills are the deeply embedded, purposefully developed aspects of you that have won you recognition, rewards, and promotions all these years.
But are they as effective today, or is it essential to reconnoiter and fine-tune your winning formula? Let’s dig in and challenge two of your possible winning practices to verify that they meet today’s success requirements.
Trust me… “You’ve Got This.” You already know how to build a thriving career. Tweaking one is easy-peasy!
Accountability: A foundational competency you had to have developed early in your career was to become a completion-results-grounded employee. There’s no question this ability has served you well through the years and partly accounts for your rise from lower-level positions to more senior ones. But what if your definition of accountability in today’s over-committed, over-loaded workday isn’t as effective as it once was?
Think about it….in the beginning, your “gold-star” equation was based on your success at checking off everything on your “to-do” list.
Whereas, as you assume higher-level responsibilities, completion-discernment is essential because you can’t ever get everything done.
Have you adjusted?
If not, begin the reorientation by identifying the highest priorities you have right now. What isn’t significant should be reassigned to an employee who will gain knowledge to grow their career. Or recommend postponing the project or simply not doing it at all. You can’t afford to burn yourself out on activities that don’t provide critical results for the organization. That isn’t constructive for the organization’s future or your career!
Language: When we move through the stages of childhood into adulthood, we acquire new vocabulary to communicate our experiences. The same was necessary once you began your first day in business.
Effective communication is challenging enough without tapping into the vernacular or language of the land. You’ve adjusted, or you wouldn’t hold the position you currently do.
However, isn’t it time to recalibrate to ensure you’re speaking the language of today’s faster-paced, topsy-turvy, more diverse workforce? Have you considered that this may be a stumbling block to generating desirable outcomes?
Would anyone remain employed if you said: “Follow me to doom and disaster and no salary increases?” So, authority, strategy, sound decision-making, confidence, and optimism are minimally required from a leader to speak hope and future into an organization, particularly in the face of tough times.
Are you wondering how you’re doing?
Results are the first measurement. Are you achieving the expected outcomes with little need for correction and adjustment?
Another check-in point is to listen to you communicating complex, authoritative messages. Record yourself while envisioning challenging situations where you see yourself shining or recalling less-than-stellar events helps. Record and re-record yourself until your words and tonality align with the desired results. Try it out.
Remember, when you’re visually imagining (and I say speaking out loud), your brain processes it as though it is reality. It is real-life practicing your future.
Of course, there are other critical adjustment factors, but starting with these two will put a massive dent into opening the doors for you to be far more effective in today’s extraordinarily demanding, challenging work environment.
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