Tag Archives | career

The Three Vital Ingredients To Fast-Tracking Career Success

The most common question I am asked by the most ambitious, impatient emerging talent is this: “How do I fast-track building a successful career?” I tell them. And they really don’t like the answer. Do you?

The answer to building career success is simple. Well, in my view anyway. Let’s see if you agree. I share this perspective from a knowledge bank of 30 years of ‘in the trenches’ experience, of hiring, mentoring, and coaching thousands, of building, buying, merging and closing businesses, and of farewelling many under-achievers.

Here’s my view. Every single ‘successful’ person I have seen who has climbed rapidly up the corporate ladder has had these three attributes in spades. You must have all three. Two is not enough. Have a read, and then score yourself out of 10 against how you’re tracking right now against each (10/10 being ‘brilliantly’… 1/10 ‘an unmitigated disaster’). Here they are:

The Real Reason I Quit My C-Suite Job

Big power, privilege, influence and rewards. Just four of the benefits of my role. So why did I quit four weeks ago, and walk away into a career ‘wilderness?’ What was the REAL reason I resigned? Okay- here’s the truth, and stuff the consequences.

I lived in Adelaide in my early 20s, in a house next to a very senior, 80 year old Anglican Church minister. He was about to have a major operation, and was nervous about it. I was chatting to him over the fence: “Oh well, if it goes wrong I guess you’ll find out whether what you’ve been banging on for about for 60 years is actually true!” To his credit, he saw the humour in it, and laughed.

That’s why I quit my job. I needed to ‘walk the talk.’ It was time to take my own medicine. Quite simply, I had to have the courage to take this one critical step. And I did.

The Key To Falling In Love With Your Job Again

I have discovered the secret to making sure your job is filled with great moments, experiences and buzz. It’s the key to preventing staleness, stagnation and depletion. Seriously- they should make a movie about it. Here it is.

I got the clue watching the movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The aged hotel owner, who occasionally returns to the hotel where he started out as a Bell Boy, always stays in the smallest room, with no bathroom. Later, in the flashbacks, we see it’s the room he lived in as a young lad, when he was learning the trade, and having a blast. And that reminded me of another great movie, “Citizen Kane”, where the defeated, miserable, sad media tycoon, on his deathbed, murmurs “Rosebud…Rosebud….” The camera takes us to the attic of his house where we discover the name of his childhood snow sleigh was just that.

You see, both depleted men returned to the source of their greatest happiness- and wanted to spend time in that memory again. And here’s the insight I got from that- powerful and real. And I am putting it into action right now.

The Absolute Secret To Success- But Be Warned, It Can Hurt!

The telecommunications executive looked at me expectantly, awaiting my answer to the most critical question of all: “How do I drive my career to ‘success’?” Oh- I knew the answer. And shared it. He was disappointed. As I knew he would be. Bet you will be too- because it is NOT EASY, though very, very simple. Here it is.

Many of us think about what ‘success’ means- what it looks like for me and how I’ll know when I get there. It’s one of life’s tough questions, and often takes years- if ever- for us to get clarity on ‘what’s it all about?’- for us. There is good news though. While nailing what ‘success’ means can be a long journey, the answer on how to get there is right in front of our noses. Seriously. Achieving ‘success’ is built around one very simple habit. And here it is.

What Steve Jobs, Picasso and Sir Stamford Raffles Had In Common- And I Stole It!

Jogging by the river in Singapore last week, I stumbled upon the statue of the ‘founder’ of Singapore Sir Stamford Raffles, being freshly painted. It reminded me of something I stole from him once- and something I want you to steal from me. Seriously. Here it is. Take it.

Some dispute that Sir (Thomas) Stamford Raffles actually founded Singapore, but it’s a moot point. He had a vision for what this small fishing port could become, set the path, and went on to achieve much in his short life. He died aged 46.

But here’s the thing- most of Raffles’ ideas were not his own. Neither, according to the recent biography “Raffles and The Golden Opportunity”, were his ‘discoveries and his enthusiasms.’ You see- Raffles had a crystal ball apparently, and could see what built the success of both Pablo Picasso and Steve Jobs. Quite simply, Raffles built his success on one critical habit.

How To Deliver Maximum Value To Your Role- Every Day!

Like to earn more money? A promotion be nice too? Understood. But for many, just knowing they are making a BIG contribution and are genuinely valued is the most powerful driver. So- how do you get all three? Appreciation, more money, bigger roles? Well, read on for a simple idea that works, and will help you.

One of the key pillars of whether we have great roles is the answer to this question: “Do I make a valuable and powerful difference?” I mean, what a bummer if we turned up every day and our contribution to our businesses was marginal. Making sure we add real value, consistently, to our roles needs constant reassessment. It needs to become a habit. It is easy to get ‘lost’ in the trench warfare of what we do every day, lose focus and get stuck in marginal ‘value’ activity. Sure happens to me. Here is one way to building a habit which will help protect and maybe even super-charge your career. It actually is very simple.

Ask yourself this question regularly, and then deliver hard on the answer, and you can rest assured that you will continue to deliver a valuable and powerful difference. Here it is: