Over the last several months, I have received many request from people asking for all sorts of advice. The requests come from young people just starting out, mid-career people looking for a good next step, and senior people asking me about how I made my career transition after a long corporate career. Some of the people I know and some I have never met. Many are coming from people who read this blog, read my book, or found me on various social media outlets. I am flattered that people think I can help.When people come to me for advice, I like to start out using my mantra “help me help you.” A good leader, teacher, or coach who truly wants to help others should start out with a sense of what the individual believes they need to improve or what they need to do to change the course of their career. Getting an individual’s self assessment gives the manager the raw material to get started.
Organizations typically refer to these efforts as “development.” Think of how many times you have heard about “child development” or “professional development.” Many organizations actually have a position called something like “Director of Learning and Development.” Yes, it might be good to have such a “department” responsible for guiding people along, but getting better at what you do
and making sure those around you do the same, should be everyone’s responsibility.
I am not trained in development. I became good at it simply by doing it. I tried lots of things that didn’t work so well and some that have worked very well for many
years. I have had the benefit of the occasional training class on this sort of thing but most of my advice to you comes straight from my own experiences. Remember, my
whole career evolved not from planning but simply from being willing to “do whatever it takes,” admitting what I didn’t know and then figuring it out.
Remember that all ships really do rise together. Look around and see who you might help. Don’t wait for some bureaucrat to tell you to go to a class or worse, that same bureaucrat one day tells you that you are not performing as expected. Ask Ask Ask
Son of a Postman