“If you really want something you have to work for it. Now be quiet, they’re about to announce the lottery numbers.”
– The great American philosopher, Homer Simpson
TYLER, Texas — As we speed to the end of summer this Labor Day weekend, I have been thinking about a line I used in a recent speech: Dreams are important but people who only dream rarely achieve their full potential.
When these dreams are about your career you must have specific goals and a strategy, a plan. You must also have the passion and desire as well as the ability to be flexible and adaptable. Without the latter, you will face some very tough sledding.
In other words, career brand management is important to your success, and as the new healthcare delivery model evolves, how executives manage their career will be increasingly relevant.
There are few corporate success stories where throwing it out there and hoping for the best was the winning strategy. So why apply that approach to your career?
A middle-aged senior executive recently complained that strategic planning for one’s career was really a dumb idea and that by writing about it I was giving undue credibility to a concept that that he likened to a consultant’s version of selling snake oil. “Things are going to change. I have no way of knowing what the future holds. Why should I waste my time writing a plan? I seem to be doing OK without that waste of time.”
He was right about two things. Things do and will change, especially at this time in healthcare and, yes, it is certainly difficult to forecast the future. If you doubt that, just compare the predictions of 90 percent of our industry’s futurists over the last 10 years with what has actually transpired. Most futurists are wrong 70 to 80 percent of the time.
Smart companies appreciate that change is part of business and that is why they re-evaluate their strategies and business tactics, typically on an annual basis, to ensure that their prices, product mix of communications strategies are relevant.
This certainly applies to career management. There is, I believe, a strong corollary between career planning to the level of success an executive achieves. Yet, so many leaders who strong devotees of strategic planning for their companies fail to apply the same principles in their own lives.
Would you hire a CEO to run your business who had no idea where he wanted to take the company? You would probably decide, fairly quickly, that he or she was someone you easily could do without. This type of go-with-the-flow approach to strategy is, at best, hit or miss.
Think about your career brand. You are the CEO of you. Are you willing to gamble your dreams in such a laissez-faire manner the way you buy lottery tickets?
Editor’s Note: We will be taking a holiday on Monday. See you back here on Wednesday.
© 2020 John Gregory Self