Authored by Mickey North Rizza
Do you work closely with outside advisors to develop your strategy, plan and, yes, even to coach you? In the last several weeks I have polled Vice-Presidents across a multitude of disciplines for their thoughts and practices. Overwhelmingly, those that have catapulted their careers forward utilize experts in their lives to further their careers. The term “expert” has many calling cards: advisor, mentor, sounding board, coach, guide and career counselor were the ones that came up most often during my polling.
Most executives polled told me they would not be where they are today if it wasn’t for the help and support of others in their lives. While a few credited their spouses as their success factors, most told me that regular meetings with others who had done well in their career and who had become a fixture in their lives to advise them on career growth and strategy were the reason the executives continued to do well.
One individual told me that regular meetings with a previous boss kept him thinking about how he progressed. This boss was astute enough to give him guidance on his dealings with others and his approach and style. Another individual told me that his regular ‘check-ins with his esteemed colleagues’ gave him the ability to discuss perplexing problems and ideas on potential employees and partnership opportunities. And still another told me she had several people that became her sounding board and career counselor, while also providing her insight into the future above and beyond today.
Successful people have multiple paths to success; most importantly, they share an element of collaboration with others that are not related to the day-to-day. In their own words, it keeps them grounded, in the running and able to achieve much.