16 Jul Taking the First Step
Whether or not iconic musician Jerry Garcia ever really made the above statement about saving the rain forests of South America is subject to debate – he denied it but it’s clear the sentiment lived on.
And Dead Heads believe it to be so.
It’s one of my favorite quotes – real or not – because it summons a common complaint all of us have – about our jobs, our careers, our families, and our lives.
It’s a heck of a lot easier if someone else takes a step to affect change – as long as it’s not us.
I invest a lot of time talking about leading your career – and the cardinal point of the instrument that forms the foundation for the book The Compass Solution and the company The Compass Alliance is Personal Accountability.
Here’s a career prediction you can bet your mortgage on:
Your boss will change – your department will too. And there’s a pretty good chance your company and your industry will go through enough face-lifts to make even a Hollywood plastic surgeon say, “Are you kidding me?”
If you really want to plot your career course on any of the above then I also suggest you make your next vacation plans by showing up at the local bus depot, buying a ticket to “anywhere”, and hoping….
There is credible evidence a great many do just that – waiting for career guidance like a desperate farmer looking to the heavens and praying for rain.
Don’t get me wrong – your boss can help – your department can help – and your company can help.
They all have a role to play.
But if you make your career trajectory dependent on a third party you have effectively capitulated. Based on U.S. and global estimates of employee disengagement it would appear a great many are waving white flags right now.
Seventy percent – and some generations (note Millennials) even greater. Dying at work – slowly.
Personal Accountability has effectively been supplanted by a more common approach – General Deniability. The script that accompanies this position:
“I could get that promotion if my supervisor supported me.”
“I wonder why my company doesn’t keep me updated on new opportunities?”
“I need more training – why don’t they provide it?”
“My boss loves (fill in the name of the person you most hate here)….I will never have a shot.”
“The game is rigged….it’s all political…and I don’t play that game.”
You get the picture – two important insights for all of us to consider.
- “They” doesn’t exist. “They” is whom we blame when it’s “me” we should be looking at.
- Your career success is not based solely on meritocracy. It has not – and will never be – completely fair. Get over it. Show me a career success story and I’ll show you someone who overcame adversity – not lamented its presence.
We all look for Purpose in our professional lives – we hunger for the Direction and the Tools to realize that Purpose.
Each of the above can be company supported perhaps – but NOT company-issued.
Ask the “Average Joe” how much time they invest in a week in their own self -development and be prepared to wait. Ask them how much time in front of a television and expect somewhere between 35 and 40 hours.
“There are three classes of people; those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.”
– Leonardo da Vinci