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.
Do you ever hear yourself saying you’re unsatisfied, unrewarded, or unhappy?
You may be living a UN life that slowly and surely spirals you downward into disappointment, choking the life out of your enthusiasm.
Let me unwrap and unpack three UNs.
UNprepared: Many working in today’s fast-paced business world rush around madly rather than spend time planning to their detriment.
Executives who strategize in advance save time and money, not to mention that it limits the possibility of miscalculation or failure. This attitude aids you in responding faster and more creatively when elements go off-course as they often do!
So, if and when your brain shouts out, I don’t have enough time to plan. Say out loud, Liar, liar pants on fire! Because that is what you’re doing… lying to yourself to save time will ultimately harm your career.
On a more global level, a study by FCLTGlobal and McKinsey shows that when executives consistently make decisions and investments with long-term objectives in mind, their companies generate more shareholder value, create more jobs, and contribute more to economic growth than do peer companies that focus on the short term.
Being UNprepared isn’t a mindset you want to continue unless you intentionally choose to be Undone by this UN in your career!
UNappreciated: Many career complaints I hear ultimately lead to a boss’s or company’s lack of acknowledging their contribution.
According to Abraham Maslow, recognition (appreciation) is one of the five fundamental human needs after food, safety, and belonging. Wow! Appreciation is significant!
Research by Workhuman confirms this, with 84 percent of workers who receive regular recognition… that’s appreciation… saying they feel more fulfilled in their work, 89 percent say they feel more motivated, and 78 percent of employees who receive recognition report feeling more committed to their organization… All good…
But if your career target is to be a leader, you’ll fail by looking externally to determine your value.
The reality is that the higher you travel up the hierarchy in your company, the less appreciation you’ll receive.
Why? Because you’ve already proven your value. You’ve received and reveled in being appreciated during your season in the low to mid-level roles in your career where the spotlight is on your performance. Now, it’s about the outcomes you produce through others.
Instead of looking externally for your grade, look internally. Celebrate what you’ve done well and correct what you can do better. This shift in attitude will position you as a leader so you never again feel UNappreciated!
UNinformed: Winging your business and career decisions will rarely lead to success, nor does it bode well for your future. Being UNinformed is a vicious cycle.
Career decisions that are neither well-informed nor align with your values, passions, and strengths lack the energy necessary to succeed in any venue.
The executives committed to nonstop learning and development are planting seeds for their future before living it. That’s not a bad idea… actually, it’s a really significant one!
When you don’t honor lifelong learning, you’re settling for being less than your potential. You end up living an off-the-mark life as well as missing opportunities simply because you don’t notice them.
What do I mean specifically?
The obvious is that you need to stay relevant in your chosen field. Business is moving too fast to remain competitive with merely the expertise and knowledge you brought to your company. You must keep pace with the marketplace.
And equally, if not more crucial, is expanding your soft skill competencies. As you move to higher-level positions, you lean more into the emotional components of the work to lead successfully.
It’s time to seriously add weight to these soft skill proficiencies, such as communication, empathy, conflict resolution, confidence, delegation, flexibility, honesty, mentoring, collaboration, integrity, creativity, strategic planning, resourcefulness, and openness.
Whew! That’s a lot. And there are plenty more vital soft skills for leaders in today’s business environment that I didn’t have time to address.
And honestly, measuring your soft skill success as you gain confidence is more complicated, unlike your expertise savvy, where you generate an “A” grade by expressing or testing your knowledge.
With soft skills, your “A’s” only show up through your employees’ results.
We’ve examined these three UN mindsets that are shrinking the results your magnificent creation machine generates.
Aren’t you ready to replace any negative UNs and transform them one by one with satisfaction, joy, fulfillment, success, achievement, and abundance?
Yes. It requires effort, and you’ll never be sorry.
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