Career management success emerges from level 5 leadership, discipline and a sustainable resource engine.
You might have heard before that career management is very similar to being the CEO or Me Inc. In fact, when managing your Me Inc, you will have to hold all the roles of the company, including CEO, head of marketing, head of operations, and head of organizational development to name a few. So how do you transition from good to a great at Me Inc? How do you achieve career management success?
Any Me Inc can tremendously benefit from operating by the principles outlined in Jim Collins’ “From Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t”. In this context, career management success will be based on (1) Level 5 Leadership (the leader remains humble, disciplined and ensures that decisions are best for the business), (2) bringing the right people on the bus and sitting them on the right seat in the bus, and (3) creating sustainable transformations through a long and arduous buildup hopefully followed by a breakthrough that will lead to sizeable financial rewards and organizational prestige.
However, socio-eco innovators (SEIs) might find the ‘Good to Great’ principles impossible to apply because they only focus on financial results. While running their Me Inc, SEIs are of course going to have to meet their financial responsibilities. But they will also want to measure their positive impact on people, and the planet. In addition, they do not see others as competitors, but as partners that can help them reach a common goal.
The good news is that Jim Collins also published a lesser-known monograph titled ‘Good to Great and the Social Sector’. Based on his conversations with mission-driven organization leaders, Mr. Collins revisited his principles and offered outstanding advice and frameworks that any SEI can use to manage their 3BL Me Inc. Here are some highlights:
- Level 5 leadership: In contrast with executive leadership that works best in the private sector, legislative leadership and building consensus are critical to success in the social sector. Leadership is defined as ‘getting people to follow when they have the freedom not to’. This applies whether you are trying to change the way some things are done where you work, or whether you are in the process of convincing a recruiter that he/she cannot afford not to hire you.
- Creating a culture of discipline: No matter what you decide to do, when it comes to the quality of your work, always go the extra mile and get the best possible results in your projects. You must demonstrate that you are pulling your weight and that you are at work to contribute to the best of your ability. This attitude will earn you the respect of your colleagues, peers in other organizations, and supervisors.
- Building a sustainable resource engine: The goal of social sector organizations is to generate a sustainable resource engine that includes three elements – time, money, and brand. How much time will be volunteered to help your mission, how much money will sustain your operations and impact, and how much your brand equity will inspire change and in return contribute to sustain your resource engine? By assessing your resource engine, you can tremendously improve your ability to make decisions about how to invest your time, money and manage your brand to create sustainable value as a professional SEI.
In sum, when formulating your goals as an SEI, read the ‘Good to Great’ principles of Level 5 leadership, creating a culture of discipline, and building a sustainable resource engine. They are sure to help you achieve 3BL career management success!
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