Do You Own Your Awesome?
Last week my nine-year-old asked for homework help: How many seconds in three hours? I asked him what 60 times 60 would be. He said, “1,200.” I said, “Hmmmm, what about trying again.” To which he said, “Yes, 6 plus 6, then add the two zeros.” And I asked him to try again, again. And then the light went on, “Ohhhhh, 6 times 6. Then it’s 3,600.” Good. And nice job on the two zeros.
My son is nine and his mind is still open. Plus, math is linear. Do you ever wonder if you are getting the success equation wrong? How do you know you’re not working away, only to discover that what you are doing won’t add up to a promotion or a job offer? On the other hand, what if you knew how things work and exactly what to do to get what you want, on your terms. You’d still work hard but you’d have the right roadmap, and confidence all along the way.
Knowing your awesome and its impact is the first step of the Free Agent Solution. Think about just one of your strengths. On a page, draw a circle and put your strength in it. Now make a larger circle and write one or two positive things that strength does for your team. Next circle your department or company, then the bottom line.
When we get them right our strengths have multiplier effects, like the 3,600. When we focus too much on matching the strengths of others or beating ourselves up for our weak spots, it won’t get us to the answer.
A Missed Leadership Opportunity
This past September I watched the heartbreaking US Open women’s award ceremony. As a working mom, of course I would have loved to see Serena Williams win and show how powerful women can be. But my heart went out to Naomi Osaka, who was crying and apologizing for doing exactly what she had set out to do.
What struck me was that the US Open representatives were completely unprepared. They had no plan for the outcome they were faced with, were unable to shift gears and missed a real leadership moment. What if, instead of being flummoxed, they had taken a moment to quiet the crowd and say “What incredible abundance we have today. Serena, congratulations on playing an incredible tournament just one year after having a child. And Naomi, congratulations for carrying on the great tradition of the US Open and of sports, by showing up as a powerful emerging talent.”
Easy for me to play Monday morning quarterback, but it does have me thinking about the lesson here. If you lead a team, do you take a moment to step back and see the bigger picture when you experience disappointment? Do you consider ALL of the members on the team, not just your best performers? Are you aware of the dynamics that can blind you, and them, to what’s really going on? And, do you see the opportunity in an unexpected outcome?
- I know my strengths and their impact on my team and company
- I know my next career move and what I need to get there
- I have a strong network and check in with them regularly
- I can have a successful difficult conversation with my boss, a peer or a direct report
- I know the key players in my organization and how to influence them
- I can take initiative, recover and learn if it fails
Last week a friend posted an article on team collaboration that I loved because it is right on track with what I see in my work. According to author Carlos Valdes-Dapena, formerly of Mars, Inc, “..most of what we — and others — thought about team building was wrong…We learned that quality collaboration does not begin with relationships and trust; it starts with a focus on individual motivation.” Basically, team offsites don’t work because they focus on relationship and trust first. You have to start with the individuals on the team.
It points to what I have observed for some time — that we’ve taken “There’s no I in team!” to its natural limit. In an effort to put team first, we’ve stepped over individuals, and that can leave people feeling disconnected, which can make them disengage.
When I work with teams, we start with the individuals and go outward. It’s what I call “ I to the 4th Power.” :
- Impact: Link your strengths to their impact on colleagues, team, organization and results
- Influence: How do individuals and teams negotiate their environment so that they feel a better sense of control
- Initiative: There is tremendous learning on the other side of action. To get there requires taking some risk and having resilience
- Innovation: Here’s where trust comes in. When team members feel seen and safe, they are more eager to engage and collaborate
To learn about bringing the I to the 4th Power method to your organization, contact us here.
You’ve got the Sunday night blues. You return texts and emails at all hours. You see photos of the Google campus and immediately start checking their job listings. You are impatient and not present with the most important people in your life.
Change is a fantastically positive force. But today’s runaway change can leave you feeling disconnected and out of control. It makes me think of that song, “Is this my beautiful life? How did I get here?”
What if you had a system that allowed you to stay ahead of change, and navigate career so that you are always in a job you love? Amazing. I call mine the Free Agent Solution.
I’ve pivoted in career twice and negotiated multiple promotions. I developed my Free Agent Solution program from what I learned in my own career and in helping thousands of others successfully navigate theirs. The Free Agent Solution begins with seeing the truth about your career: you are in charge. It helps you take ownership of your career through two essential tracks: 1. job search and promotion tactics and 2. leadership development. Because it’s not enough to find and negotiate one new position — you want the confidence to navigate all the twists and turns that lie ahead, on your terms.
Technology has opened new and exciting, but sometimes confusing career paths. It’s also put industries at risk. That means companies need to save resources and need us all to do more with less. Bosses are busy doing their own work and don’t have time to guide and mentor. People change jobs more, so companies may not be investing in developing leaders, plus our networks are not as strong. Without a strategy, success can feel like it’s slipping away.
To power up your career strategy, schedule a complimentary 30-minute Free Agent Solution session. You’ll love what you learn. CLICK HERE
Having control over your destiny. That’s what inspired the Free Agent name. Runaway change shouldn’t rob you of the simple ability to use your talents, be happy at work, and have the energy you want for life.
Learn more about the Free Agent Solution 3-month program CLICK HERE
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When I hear people say, “The only constant today is change,” I feel like they’ve invited the enemy in and are making it dinner. No one seems to question the change or more importantly, look for ways to neutralize or get out in front of it. And I think today’s change has made it super difficult to manage career and have the peace of mind we’d like for life outside.
This week I learned about the unique ability of an executive I am working with: She can see where senior leaders’ thinking is going and quickly come up with solutions to their ideas, even as they are being formed. Wow. I hadn’t thought of it quite this way before, but I think it’s how people should approach career today. The way to get ahead of today’s grinding change is to avoid the distraction and look for the answers that come when you really focus and listen. The wisdom to find and sustain a job you love starts with you and goes out from there.
What if instead of accepting all this change and feeling overwhelmed and runaway train-like, you could see where things are going and proactively come up with your next move? You’d be like a career expert who loves your job and still has time for life.
Here’s a question. What outside distractions are affecting your career? Do you accept those as written in stone? What might be possible if they were different? Sometimes just imagining it can help us make shifts we hadn’t thought of.
Is Vision Hurting Your Performance?
What Does Being “Other” Do to Our Confidence?
For my clients who have asked to fast-track my Career Clarity program, I’ve developed the Career Clarity VIP Day. You’ve been here before, you know you want a strategic partner, but you don’t want it to take months. The Career Clarity VIP day lets you:
- Clarify what you want next, in a way that integrates career and life
- Update your resume so it highlights the right experience and skills for the job you want
- Update your elevator pitch so that you believe in and can say with ease
- Tell you story so you sound like the right person, and you sound ready
- Develop a networking strategy that starts small and gets you to the right people
- Learn how to follow up without feeling awkward
- Complete the Career Clarity intake
- Meet with me for one full day. I bring my coaching, training, consulting and corporate experience hats to focus on you
- Have two additional 45-minute sessions with me in the month following, to integrate the learning
- Have unlimited email access throughout the month
To schedule a 30-minute complimentary conversation to see if it’s right for you, email me at: claire@clearstrategycoaching.
Here’s to leveraging your success and increasing the momentum!