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You may be able to run, but you can’t hide…
…from one uncomfortable, unpalatable truth.
Right now, you may be struggling with the politics:
- Annoyed that people can’t look at the bigger picture.
- Ignoring your suggestions and ideas, failing to realise how they could benefit.
- Angry they manipulate events to serve their own agenda.
In which case, you will probably be tempted to:
- Consider your career options.
- Get your resume up-to-date.
- Reconnect with the headhunters.
Except there is a problem. What will you tell the recruiters?
How can you explain away the failure to land a big result in your current position?
For someone who prides themselves on doing a good job – your confidence will be taking a hit.
A new coaching client recently summed up this situation quite well.
“If I resign now it is going to look bad. This would be the third short-term job in a row. I’ve got no big win to boast about, and I feel such a failure. Why do I always end up with such a landing in such a rotten group of people? I’m beginning to doubt my judgment – should have seen this coming. Is it me…”
The uncomfortable truth?
It probably is you, or at least the way you are approaching your work.
History has a habit of repeating itself, and in my experience, that is especially true with careers. Either problems recur with remarkable similarities, or successes recur with remarkable similarities.
After all, we are creatures of habit. Trouble is, the habits that lead to career failure are usually extremely difficult to identify. They are easy to break and reform if you have the right support, but very hard to spot.
If you are concerned that history is repeating itself, and costing you dear, here are seven suggestions you need to consider – fast.
- The only thing you are missing is clarity on what needs to change about your approach. It is unlikely to be them, even though it may look that way. Yes, they may be needing to change, improve, learn, but why rely on others changing when you could have far more influence over your own behaviour?
- Which means you need to find a way to take responsibility, step out of yourself, and take a good look around. Consider the patterns objectively. Get some feedback and LISTEN intelligently to what trusted friends and colleagues are saying. Remove those personal bias filters and hear what they say and draw lessons from it.
- Step aside from the fear (or any other emotion for that matter). It clouds your vision and analysis. Fear can be a good thing, when you need to run or fight for your life. But, when your livelihood is at risk, you need a clear head to do some careful analysis. Instant responses are rarely wise.
- Stop beating yourself up, if you have reached this natural stage. What’s done is done, so don’t fan the flames of emotion by giving yourself a hard time. You are human after all, so cut yourself a little slack. Regret, guilt and disappointment don’t make good company for progress and success. So, stop it.
- Instead, determine to do something different. Not rash, just different, and only after careful objective analysis and deep thinking. Act on the lessons of yesterday, with positive expectations.
- Take big, bold action to create a positive interrupt. Just about every person I have coached to a turnaround broke the damaging cycle with big changes. Incremental adjustments are insufficient to break ingrained habits.
- Resignation doesn’t work either. Mostly what it does is provides you with an opportunity to start another lap in your career, pretty much like the current one. If you’ve already resigned, okay, but make sure you work hard on the learning and determine to break the cycle.
And, don’t be tempted to do this totally on your own. We all need wise counsel, left-field ideas and different perspectives to uncover those blind spots that are holding us back. So make sure to engage your coach, mentor or best friend to help you make it happen, once and for all.
If you have found the contents of this article disturbing and are determined to do something about it, help is at hand. At the time of writing, there are still a few places left on the current Breakthrough Influence Coaching programme. What does this programme do? Well, for over 75% of participants, it supports the transformation of their prospects, and their careers, in very short space of time. Just email the team to find out more.
Colin Gautrey is an author, coach, and trainer who specialises in the practical use of power and influence in large organisations. He has 25 years’ experience helping middle/senior professionals to survive, thrive and enjoy their work.
If you are ready to develop your influencing capability, become a member of Breakthrough Influence. If you are serious about becoming highly influential, fast, engage with Colin and he will help you get there in the most effective way possible.
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