In the final installment of this “motivation” sub-series, this post will look more at developing career paths – your own and more importantly, those of your team. Yes, your team is more important than you. That is the true core value of a successful leader (which we will get more into that in future blog posts). For now, think about this question: How did you get to where you are in business today?
Of course a question such as that, has both positive and negative answers.
First the negative. How much further in business would you be today IF someone had helped you along the way? Many of us had supervisors who stunted our personal career growth. There were peers who were difficult for the sake of being difficult. Don’t forget the team members who were “inherited” and truly did not belong on the team. There you are, in the middle of this, going it alone with the burden and no reward. How long did you last?
Imagine if you didn’t go it alone. What if there was a mentor, coach or sponsor who took the time to understand your career aspirations and helped you to navigate around the obstacles? Even if it wasn’t an outside influencer, suppose your manager put the best interests of the team first. Instead of stunting growth, the leader worked to understand the team’s individual traits and motivations. With this knowledge, people can be assigned roles according to their true abilities. Looking back in that context, you can envision how much would have been different?
Now, think about your best career moment. What was it and how did you get there? More importantly, who helped you along the way? It is very doubtful you were alone. How much of a difference did a leader, mentor, coach or sponsor make in your outcome? Could you have achieved it without their help?
These best career moments have to go beyond just receiving. Think about the giving aspect as well. In the moments we help others with their unique motivations, we are building credit towards our own.
Wait, how can that be?
Simple, we are humans, we learn from each other. Helping someone else fulfill their motivations and achieve their goals, helps us to grow. We may have our own thoughts but it is our surroundings which help us to evolve. Plus, we love feeling good about ourselves and truly nothing feels as good as knowing you helped someone else achieve a goal. Trust me – it is one of the best moments ever.
Finally, put it all together. When we work together, learning our own unique and very personal motivations, we develop understanding. An understanding which leads to trust. The kind of trust it takes trust to build careers.
In those darker moments, imagine if someone had said: “Oh, I know why this is important to her – it will help her make strides in the direction of her career goal and I can help with that!” Take the time, understand what your own motivations are. More importantly, learn what motivates those around you.
Be the person who “can help with that!”
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