Despite racking up impressive accomplishments, you feel frustrated with your career—convinced you should be achieving more. You may even wish you had chosen a different career altogether.
These feelings often stem from a common error: buying into others’ definitions of success. To reach your potential, Kaplan suggests taking a deeply personal look at how you define success:
Begin by recognizing that managing your career is your responsibility. Then, follow these three steps:
The Idea in Practice
Kaplan offers these guidelines for reaching your potential at work:
Write down your 2–3 greatest strengths and weaknesses. If (like most people) you struggle with identifying key weaknesses, solicit the views of people (peers, direct reports, trusted friends) who will tell you the brutal truth. Ask for very specific feedback (“How well do I listen?” “What is my leadership style?”). Be receptive to the input you receive.
Then figure out what you truly enjoy doing. What’s your dream job? Resist the lure of a hot field: If you go into it without a strong enthusiasm for the actual work, you may waste a number of years before you admit it’s the wrong job for you. Once you’ve chosen your ideal job, you’ll have to start from scratch. But choosing a field you love gives you strength to weather the inevitable setbacks and long hours needed to reach your full potential in any career.
Excel at Critical Activities
Identify the 3–4 activities essential for success in your desired or current role. Then develop a plan for excelling in these activities.
Example: A new division head at a large industrial company was struggling to grow sales and profits. Through interviews with staff and customers, he concluded that success in his business hinged on developing close relationships with top customers’ purchasing managers, putting the right people in critical leadership positions, and staying at the cutting edge of product innovation. He began delegating activities less central to success so he could focus on raising the bar on the three success factors he had identified. Sales and profits improved.
Demonstrate Character and Leadership
Character and leadership make the difference between good and great performance. To demonstrate character:
To exhibit leadership, speak up—even when you’re expressing an unpopular view. Your superiors desperately want dissenting opinions so they can make better choices. If you play it safe instead of asserting your heartfelt opinions, you may hit a plateau in your career.
fonte: Harvard Business Review