We’ve all been there. Listening to a colleague offer way too much information about his career achievements, management prowess, and soft skills way too soon. It’s painful, but that’s what networking mixers have typically...
Throughout the course of a career today, almost everyone will, at some point, experience a change brought on by organizational shifts, layoffs, or even personal choices, such as a family move, pregnancy, or the realization that they are simply not in the right role. Still, it’s hard to let go of the idea that if we’ve done all the right things – studied, showed up on time, worked hard, and received recognition for doing well – our career still may not go as planned. Things that alter our career journey are called disruptions, and it’s not a matter of if you’ll experience them; it’s when.
Career is deeply personal. And at the same time, it’s about everyone else. It’s this tension, between the personal and the public, self and others, that can be some of the trickiest territory to navigate. But navigating it is essential because career development coalesces in two critical activities – introspection and interconnection.
Blessing White’s ongoing research underscores this: in 360 feedback data collected for thousands of managers and executives, the majority of leaders get higher ratings on the competence items than on the connection items. The leaders who were rated highest overall were not the ones who scored highest in the competence Items, but rather, the ones scoring highest in the connection items.
It’s important to remind ourselves that the need for competence and connection does not disappear with the rise of digital leadership. In fact, it becomes even more critical. Great digital leaders will do what great leaders have been able to figure out for years—how to connect with the mind and lead with the heart.
The zone is that place of high productivity – when everything else around you falls away and you are extremely focused on the task at hand. From a work perspective, we think about that zone as a place of high engagement and we believe that when you are there, you are not only highly productive but also highly satisfied personally.
Each of us has several values, and when one or more of them are not being satisfied, we are (sometimes unknowingly) unhappy. What it all boils down to is this: In the context of feeling fulfilled in our careers, are we working for spare change or are we making a true investment in our lives?