One of my favourite career management books is Keith Ferrazzi’s: Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time. He’s done it again with his most recent book: Who’s Got Your Back. From it I’ve carved out some key questions that are worth considering as you settle by the campfire this summer and think about your career and where you are, six months into 2013.
If you are committed to driving your career forward and gaining new results Who’s Got Your Back recommends four questions to get you started:
- “Where do you want to be one year from now in your career? In your life? Three years from now?
- What areas do you see in yourself that would need to be strengthened? What knowledge, experience, training, and personal relationships do you need to get there?
- What steps do you need to take to make sure you have no regrets at the end of your life and career?
- What aspect of your life do you most want to improve right now?”
Next consider that career success rarely happens in isolation. It is a result of strong relationships, including mentors and champions who help you develop your full potential. Instead of operating from the Lone Ranger mentality, career success is accelerated through a shift to Inner Circles whose members support, challenge and champion each other’s goals.
Your Inner Circle is committed to your success: they are your backers and your prodders who hold you accountable and push you through your challenges to success. These circles provide an opportunity for you to express your career and personal aspirations, as well as, explore your challenges and blind spots. They help you reach your goals through the development of short term goals and strategies. As well, these collaborative relationships can be truly powerful as they inspire sharing and truth-telling to get to the bottom of what’s holding you back.
The Power of the Inner Circle
There is an interesting correlation: as each individual in your Inner Circle succeeds it becomes a catalyst for dynamic growth and change with the group. Each spurs the other on and success spreads like wild fire. I know this myself from my Inner Circles. As we set our personal goals and derive creative strategies to overcome our roadblocks, one person’s success dominoes to the next: success breeds success.
Who’s in your Inner Circle (or could be)?
- Who are 3-5 key individuals in your professional and personal life deeply committed to your success and providing the necessary support, tools and strategies to help you reach your goals?
- Who’s “sharpening your sword” and guiding you to be sharper and more capable?
Are you spending enough time with individuals who are outstanding contributors and your key supporters?
- Are you spending too much time at your desk buried in work problems, OR are you out there being inspired and challenged by others who are reaching their career goals?
Want to shift things and catapult your results? Find the right partners. Start small: book a coffee or lunch with someone in your Inner Circle, or someone you want to develop a richer relationship with. Or, if you are really invested Keith suggests: “Practice the art of the long slow dinner”. Dinner is when time stands still and we have the opportunity to truly invest in the conversation and build stronger relationships.
Your Inner Circle can be one of the most important career strategies to support you in reaching your goals. To drive great results I suggest you communicate your aspirations and goals with your Inner Circle and then ask that they not play it safe. Request that they hold you accountable for your results. Give them permission to challenge you when you are off course: this is one of the greatest gifts they can give you. We all need cheerleaders to encourage our success, but also committed team members that spur us to run that extra lap and do those 10 more sit-ups to ensure we reach our goals.
Wishing you a fabulous summer of campfires, relaxation, and time to consider: “Who’s in my Inner Circle and supporting my success?”
Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional. She specializes in coaching professional and executive clients, and providing career advancement strategies. Copyright JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.