Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast and another edition of Hanch’s How To’s! In this series, we talk about the challenges leaders like you are facing and how you can overcome them. Today, we’ll talk about the key to achieving your career goals and the mindset shift that will help you tackle difficult decisions.
1. Be a Connector
Question: How do I climb the corporate ladder and achieve my career goals?
Answer: Focus less on climbing and more on connecting. Climbers think who is above and below them. They see their career as a competition and want to do what it takes to be seen as important and valuable. Connectors think about things horizontally, including how to best work with the people around them. They value cooperation and know that they do their best work when they are in harmony with those around them. The secret to longevity, impact, and advancement is in how you connect with the people around you.
Q: Do you see yourself as a climber or connector? Have you changed throughout your career? How so? How can you foster more connection with the people you work for, your peers, and your employees?
2. Defining Moments Define You
Question: I have the opportunity to sell my company, but if I do, 40% of my staff will be laid off. How do I know what to do?
Answer: Not every decision has a clear “right” or “wrong” choice. The choices we make in critical moments form us and inform others about our character. It’s important to decide ahead of time who you really are. What are your core values? What are your guiding principles? Knowing these will help you when you eventually face a crisis. These unexpected moments, although wrapped in angst, frustration, and disappointment, present incredible opportunities. And viewing these moments through the lens of opportunity – choosing to instead view it as something that has happened for you and not to you is a big part of our transformation of who we become.
The next time you are presented with a defining moment, ask yourself:
What’s the bigger picture here?
What am I reacting to?
What does this situation mean to me?
What would be the best thing for me to do?
If this were happening to my best friend, what advice would I give them?
Q: What core values guide your decision-making process? How do you frame your decisions in light of your career goals? Does anything change when you consider your personal goals as well? Why or why not?
Connect with someone on your team who is not your direct boss or a direct report. Invite them to lunch or coffee, or ask for their feedback on a project you are working on for a fresh perspective. If you are a CEO, find someone who is an entry-level employee and connect with them. Breaking down barriers will help you foster creativity and trust and lead to positive business outcomes.
Take some time to journal about a defining moment in your life so far. What was the situation? How did you decide what to do? What was the fallout from your decision? Do you still feel like you made the right choice? Why or why not? What did you overlook? What did you overemphasize? What values would drive your decision if you had to make it again?