My phone rings, and I smile.
It’s a client of four years, who is now a professional friend. We haven’t spoken for six months.
In this time, this person has progressed their career and influence within the organisation they are employed at.
They're now sitting in an executive position, and I’m so happy to hear of their success!
We have a casual chat, reflecting on where they are now, and I ask what their key learnings are so they can be shared with others.
Their answer fits into a simple and effective 5 “A’s” framework:
Being comfortable with the person they are and not compromising on their core being. We discussed the difference between acceptance and apathy. Apathy is not being willing to evolve into your best version.
Stepping back to look at the bigger picture, then aligning their area’s strategy and team to this. The alignment allows them to say no to certain activities that don’t serve the bigger vision.
Choosing to do a few more meaningful things at a deep level. These are critical activities, and the consequence of these not being successful for the broader business is significant. It is an easy decision to become involved.
Being aware that there are other important activities. They have established informal and formal mechanisms to keep across these. They only become involved when a decision is complex, or an obstacle requires resolution.
A very conscious decision to reduce the time dedicated to administration activities. They have employed people that are now doing some of this work.
In summary - what enabled your initial success is unlikely to contribute to your future success.
Stepping back and making conscious choices will be the platform for building your own bright, professional future.
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