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20 January, 2016 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management
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Focus On Triggers That Lead To Success

Posted January 20th, 2016 | Author: John G. Self

The key to success in running a business I have come to learn is to zero in on essential triggers for success, and execute flawlessly.  As my father, a highly successful retail baker liked to say, “It isn’t rocket science.”

successThat is not to say that there isn’t a lot of complexity, especially when you think of your average community hospital which Peter Drucker described as “the most complex of human organizations ever devised by man.”  So, before the management theory scolds jump to discount what I am saying, let me be clear: I am not saying all problems are really easy to solve if we will only relax and let them be simple.  The point is that complex problems do not always require complex answers.  In fact, as we have demonstrated so convincingly time and again in our effort to improve quality of care and enhance patient safety, devising complex solutions often do not produce the results we expected or needed, they become a part of a bigger, more expensive problem.

The lesson is that executives do not get credit for leading large, high-profile teams charged with solving a big, nasty recurring problem, unless they succeed.  There are no career brand bonus points awarded for the complexity of a problem or the solution, just for successful, sustainable results.  Successful, sustainable results may not be the only criteria for advancement, but they are numbers one and two, and you must be able to connect your success to the needs of the prospective employer who has come calling.

Brand management for some executives is an abstract concept they struggle to comprehend.  For many it is irrelevant or unimportant.  I am of the firm belief that those executives are sadly mistaken unless they have already achieved the status of an accomplished system CEO in the last job of their career.  Others feel it is a concept that is not only too abstract but they do not want to look foolish or be accused of shameless boosterism.

I have been writing and lecturing about career brand management since the mid-1990s, advocating that it is an essential skill set for executives who want to maximize their career potential.  What has surprised me over the last three to four years is how its importance has grown as we enter a period of structural realignment of the business model.  It is now a critical career management skill.

The good news is this is not rocket science.  You do not have to get lost in devising complex strategies and tactics.  Focus on the triggers that will lead to success.  They are not hard concepts to master.

  • Your integrity is the cornerstone of your brand.  Tell the truth.  Treat people fairly and with respect and always try to do the right thing both when no one is looking or when the stakes are so high they are mind boggling.  Treating people right when it is only in your best interest will damage your brand.
  • Recruit talent that is smarter than you and then care for your team members and your customers, regardless of who or where they are.
  • Be a leader who walks the talk.  There are a surprising number of people who have a great line of bs, but their questionable or inconsistent actions always speak louder than their words.
  • Be mindful of your appearance and your presence.  Great leaders stand out and people pay attention.
  • Focus on the important aspects of the project.  Massive flow charts and other project management tools are great, even helpful.  But in the end, your brand will go up, or down, based on your ability to produce successful results that are sustainable.  You cannot have a good reputation with bad results.

In the end, it always come down to the results.

© 2019 John Gregory Self

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