If you’re like me…you want to LEAD! From early on everything came fairly easy. Growing up in a small midwest farming community, I excelled in sports, theater, school, and just about anything I put my mind to…Went to college to play football, get a degree and launch a fast-tracked career because…well, success had always been right around the corner!
This Stuff Doesn’t Happen to Me…Does It?
After college, my wife and I moved to Dallas and I was determined to take it by storm! That’s what Leaders like you and I do, right? Move on and move up! And then, HUMILITY and REALITY set in. Within five months (and because I didn’t understand how the real world worked), I was given a 30-day notice to “Get on Track or Find Another Job”.
In hindsight, this was absolutely the BEST thing that ever happened in my career as a leader. After the harsh ultimatum, I went back to my small apartment, buried my head (shed a few tears), and came to this conclusion:
Strategy #1: I WILL NEVER ALLOW OTHERS TO DICTATE MY FUTURE…MY SUCCESS BELONGS TO ME!
Create a Career Strategy…Before Your Forced To
That afternoon I wrote several goals on the back of an envelope. I listed courses, certifications, goals, and the work ethic I would adhere to over the next 36 months. I made a decision to seek business contacts and leaders that could give me wise advice and counsel that I couldn’t get on my own. Within three years, with total humility and strong faith, I met every goal on that envelope and have been fortunate enough to survive 35 years in the corporate world as both an entrepreneur and Fortune 500 executive. I’m also an author, keynote speaker, and consultant/coach to many organizations and leaders.
Strategy #2: Be Intentional About Scheduling Plan B
To be successful you MUST have a PLAN! In fact, after 35 years in the corporate real estate industry, I found myself again on the “outside looking in”. The company was looking to shed 30-50K employees and the All-Star team I was blessed to have assembled and coached could be downsized with an opportunity for me to leave earlier than anticipated. How did it affect me this time?
NOT AT ALL! I ALREADY KNEW MY PURPOSE, STRENGTHS, AND AMBITIONS. I HAD INTENTIONALLY SCHEDULED TIME FOR “PLAN B” YEARS IN ADVANCE.
In fact, I had been researching the physiological, psychological, and neurological effects of leaders for over 10 years. I had been speaking across the country and wrote a book titled “Living a Rich and Intentional Life”. Little did I know that my “life lesson” right out of college reinforced my mantra “MY SUCCESS BELONGS TO ME”!
Strategy #3: Know Your Gifts (and your Kryptonite)
As a Consultant and Executive Coach, I’m committed to helping Leaders know their strengths, blindspots, and ideal swimlane. There are many assessments of which I use an assortment depending on the client’s situation (StrengthFinders, DiSC, and Kolbe A). The key is to basically articulate with full clarity your sweet spot and build on your gifts. As for weaknesses, it’s best to be aware (especially when under stress) but not give energy to areas that don’t serve you in the long run.
What’s your story? Have you experienced some extreme humility along the way? Love to hear your story! Please drop me a note as I would love to learn more from you and others that have had to pivot without notice. Thanks and Live a Rich and Intentional Life!