Monday, March 24, 2008

Developing Your Leadership Account

Just like your 401k account, compounding interest works wonders for your Leadership Account. This is an account you establish when your career first begins and follows you throughout, unlike some corporate pension plans I could name. And, there is the opportunity to make ongoing deposits to your account as you progress through your career. Think about the following milestones and investment opportunities and put them to work for you.

When you are recruited

  • Why are you being hired? Is this just a job, or a career opportunity?
  • Is this a company where talented people stay a long time? If not, will the experience you gain be attractive to future employers?
  • How will the company help you grow? What kind of assignments can you expect? Will you have time to continue your education or learn with the company?
  • What kind of mentoring program do they have?
  • What kind of formal training program do they have?
  • How soon can you be running a part of the business? OJT in smaller leadership roles is key to the future.
  • Are work methods set in stone, or are you given the freedom to try new ideas?

As a new employee

  • Do you meet your goals?
  • Do you help others?
  • What do you do for your peers?
  • When you take problems to the boss, do you take solutions as well?
  • Are you transparent?
  • Are you developing a group of senior manager friends who will mentor and back you?

Developing yourself

  • Is your network expanding outside your division or company?
  • Do you know people in your community who aren’t businesspeople?
  • Are you a member of professional associations and do you actively participate in them?
  • Do you attend seminars about things a more senior person would be focused on?
  • Are you contributing to your community in some way?
Keeping life in balance

  • Are you there for your family? If not, why should they be there for you when you need them?
  • Have you cultivated a close friendship with someone who will be honest with you when others won’t?
  • Have you formed an inner circle of friends to be your advisors on important matters?

My favorite author on leadership is John Maxwell. He is a prolific writer and speaks to complex business and life issues in simple terms. I encourage you to check out his website and books.

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