Tag Archives | Learning

The New Black In Career Management

Heed this critical lesson from a young truffle farmer from the Luberon, Provence, if you are to safe-guard your career. Ignore it at your peril. Embrace it and thrive.

Johann was energized: “I quit banking to run my 90 year old grandfather’s farm. I am his sole heir, and needed to get involved. It was pretty run down. Some olive trees, and vines. I realized my only route to survival was to diversify- to add new revenue streams and offerings that could cater to a wider range of customer, and provide protection from seasonal factors beyond our control.

“I’ve planted more olives, have a ‘sponsor an olive tree’ program under way, have started farming truffles, have created a ‘truffle hunting’ tourist activity, we have bees for honey, offer wine crushing experiences, charge a fee for tourists to pick grapes and olives, and will also start fishing tours of the lake and river. It’s the only way we keep up with change, and leverage what this place has to offer.”

I listened in awe. Johann’s approach was so wise. And it struck me that it is exactly what anyone in business today needs to be doing if their careers are to thrive.

Fish and Chips And The Secret To Success

As a new year begins, I have been reflecting on a burning question: what does ‘success’ really mean? And then I saw a movie where the lead actor gave me the answer. It really nailed it for me. And has given me a genuine insight that has changed my path. Here it is.

In recent years, and particularly since a health scare, I have been panicked by a lack of clarity around what ‘success’ means to me. I know it’s not about having more stuff, or more money, friends, power, status (or is it?). Maybe it’s about making a positive difference. Or is it around achieving one’s potential? Confusing. It has been causing me real anxiety.

And then Sven Baker told me he’d watched a movie, “Papadopoulos & Co.” It was playing on my plane. I watched it. “So- how do you define success?” the actor liquidator asked the failed business tycoon who had returned to his brother’s fish and chip shop. And his answer stunned me:

Why putting yourself out of business is smart

The most dangerous threat to the success of our businesses and careers is a great last result. It breeds complacency. FATAL! We have to relentlessly work to improve: or we will be overtaken and will soon fade into history. Here’s why, and how to do it.

Never rest on your laurels. John Chambers, a great Cisco CEO, famously said: “Stay paranoid.” David Ogilvy talked about “Divine discontent.”

Remember this- we are only as good as our next result.

To grow successful, thriving and sustainable careers and businesses, we have to remain ‘divinely discontent’ and ‘paranoid’ about our capabilities, our edge, and our competitors. Here’s two great ways to do it.