If you’ve been at a company for more than five years, your experience, mindset and “Personal Brand” will increasingly be oriented to its goals. This is fine if that is where you want to be and are willing to put your energy into both navigating and becoming part of the organization. However, you should be active in deciding it this is the path you want to take, and not end up as a “Company Man” by default. Additionally, in this age of gig work, rapid technological change and a remarkable lack of loyalty, I counsel folks to focus on themselves, not the organization they are in, being sure to manage their career in a way that does not become company-dependent.
Developing a learning culture, one of continuous training, with your sales team will ensure that you are all performing at the top of your game. And, training works best if it involves lots of role playing. People learn best by doing.
Even the crazy man is predictable in his craziness. When you are looking for your next gig, planning on make a career change, or thinking about the path you will take in your current career, stick to your persona. Who are you? Knowing this will help you plan and make steps that are consistent, healthy and organic. In a weird way, we live to fulfill our stereotype; humans think in clusters and in patterns – jobs are not different.
We make most of our business decisions within tight frames of uncertainty: revenues, costs and personnel are somewhat predictable and so we can manage plans and expectations around them reasonably well. It gets tougher when things are unpredictable (Who thought a year ago that we would be in the middle of a pandemic this year?) and humans are notoriously overconfident when estimating their ability to make the right call in a fluid or ambiguous situation. It is the unknown unknowns that kill you.
Lots of articles in the business press about how important empathy – the ability to deeply feel / understand another’s PoV (Point of view) – is to business. Well, yes and no: not enough empathy and you will crush your senior management team; too much and you may drift from the goals you have mutually set and get stuck in personal dramas. Many leaders have gotten to where they are specifically because they are not particularly empathetic; you may be in this category. So the first step is to be aware of your own wiring.