Victorious Insights For Living: True Career Success

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

True Career Success

One of the principles Steven Covey teaches about is the habit of personal leadership. There is a difference between "leadership"and "management". Leadership tends to be about "direction" and "vision". Management tends to be about "implementation" of that vision. You need both to be successful.

In his book, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he states that the manager tends to excel at climbing the ladder of success, while the leader determines if the ladder is leaning against the right wall. In this day and age, we need more then ever to determine if the "ladder is leaning against the right wall". In some case, it may just be a case of making an "adjustment", that will produce great success. This applies to the direction of our careers, as well as our lives in general.

Here are a few links that give some great ideas on enhancing you career:

http://www.48days.com/

http://www.5patterns.com/

http://lifeatwork.portfoliocms.com/Brix?pageID=9

Managing Your Career

The sites are chock full of ideas and strategies of how to pro-actively manage your career and take your career to the next level. The articles in the sites help you to think beyond the 'day-to-day grind' and think about where you are going.

Becoming A Person of Vision
A man or woman with a vision and a plan and a strategy to get there is a powerful thing...As it says in the proverbs:

"It's better to be wise than strong; intelligence outranks muscle any day. Strategic planning is the key to warfare; to win, you need a lot of good counsel." - Proverbs 24:6 (MSG)

Excercize wise, personal leadership and take an intelligent look at were you want to go, seems to be the message of this proverb. For instance, what are your dreams? What is your vision? What are your strengths and gifts? What are you innately good at...or even great at? What are you passionate about? What are you best at? How can you leverage your gifts and talents and be well compensated for it? What's pulling at your heart? What causes you to come 'alive' on the inside? What is your mission and purpose in life? What is "bearing fruit" ? These are "intelligent" questions you can ask yourself to determine the 'direction' of you career and life.

Think & Act Strategically
After taking an intelligent, prayerful look at where you want to go, utilize strategic planning where your career is concerned. Be strategic in your thinking. Implement your vision with management by objective principles. What key, pro-active strategic steps can you take to get you from where you currently are to where you want to go with your life? Perhaps it is a "timing issue" or a need for more education or developing some new thinking or attitudinal skills. Perhaps you need to 'take life by the horns', if you will, by being more aggressive about marketing yourself to not only your current employer but to the larger market in general. Perhaps it might boil down to viewing yourself in a new way and giving yourself "permission" to go after your dreams.

Jack Canfield in his book"Success Principles: How to Get From Where You are to Where You Want To Be" gives the account of how he noticed a teller at a bank who had just started. The teller wore clothes that looked more like a manager, and even though he was a teller and did his job with excellence, he "acted" more like a manger. He was "acting the part" of the job he was believing for. He began to think, act, talk, dress, plan, educate himself, and live like the leader he knew he was called to be. Later on when Jack Canfield visited the bank, the teller was no longer a teller, but a manager. He 'acted the part' and eventually literally became "the part" he was playing. He determined to see himself in a new way and over time became that person he saw in his vision. This principle could apply not only toward developing a career more in line with your God-given gifts and strengths, but also developing a side business or any dream you have.

What key qualities and qualifications will you need for the position you are believing for or the new level you are dreaming about? Take the time to "think it through" and then "follow through".

Go For It
Here's a good rule of thumb for "getting moving" after you have thought it through. It will help you transition from 'thinking it through' to 'following through' and avoid the trap of the 'paralysis of analysis':

  1. Think about it
  2. Pray about it
  3. Talk about it
  4. Make plans and due your 'due diligence'
  5. Make an executive decision (on way or another).
  6. Take action and adjust as you go - trusting the law of serendipity will work to your advantage.

Remember that it's what you learn in the process of going after your dreams and the person you become as a result of pursuing your dreams, that has the most value. As the saying goes: success isn't just a destination, but a journey. Receive the 'call' and embark on your 'heroes journey'.

Good Counsel - Hangin' With Eagles
As the proverb states, to win, you need alot of 'good counsel'. Choose your friends, advisors and counsel wisely. You will notice the proverbs says "good counsel". There is good counsel and there is bad counsel. Choose good counsel. Don't tell your dreams to non-dreamers. Surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams, as well as people who are operating at a higher level then yourself. Enlist the help of 'experienced champions' in your field of endevour who believe in you and your dreams and can help mentor you to the next level. The power of "associates" is in incredible - for good or bad. Don't hang out with "crabs" who will keep you in the bucket of mediocrity. Hang out with eagles, who will help you soar to new heights of excellence. This principle not only applies in terms of your career, but every area of your life.

This doesn't mean surround yourself with 'yes' men. But surround yourself with credible, wise men and women who not only encourage you to follow your dreams, but have wisdom and experience of how to get there. Your associates and 'counsel of adviosrs' could include people you know, as well as resources such as books, tapes, videos, magazines, and online learning. For instance, as I sought to learn more about leadership, I bought a number of John C. Maxwell books. I've never met him, personally, but his books and tapes have provided awesome counsel and insights that would have otherwise taken me years to learn on my own. In the area of leadership, I consider him part of my 'counsel of advisors', even though I've never met him before. It's been a story of accelerated learning and "increase by association".

There is, indeed, safety in a 'multitude of counsel'.

Words to think about and live by.

You are the best. :)

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