Career Coach: 10 Things To Avoid in 2013

Posted January 16, 2013 in Career Management, Latest News & Insights

January is always a time for fresh starts and most of us spend at least a little bit of time scurrying around making plans for what new things we’re going to do to make this “the best year ever!!!”  In the past week however, I’ve been reminded that sometimes it’s powerful to be told to stop doing something.  So, based on my work over the past year with Type A personality leaders, here’s my top 10 list of STOP doings for you in 2013:

  1. Avoiding the tough conversations:  you know the ones I’m talking about.  That person on your team who’s not cutting it; that peer who’s sabotaging corporate efforts; that vendor who’s worked with you for years but who’s service is slipping.  Leadership is about having the courage to deal with the tough stuff.
  2. Undervaluing rest: professional atheletes don’t train 24/7 and neither should you.  We have an epidemic in our organizations where we’re wearing our “busy-ness” like some kind of insane badge of honour.  It’s not honourable…it’s ridiculous.
  3. Making excuses for nice people:  Firing jerks is easy.  It’s firing the nice under performer that’s difficult.  If you hear yourself providing reams of rationale as to why someone isn’t hitting their results, stop.  It’s not you, it really is them.  Make that move you know you have to make. (see point 1).
  4. Making excuses for not networking:  If you aren’t building your external and internal networks all the time, you are putting yourself at career peril.  Period.
  5. Not taking advantage of your internal opportunities:  People on the job hunt are always setting up “information meetings” with senior people in your company.  Why aren’t you doing the same?  Sponsorship is the new mentorship, so make sure the people in the know, know you.
  6. Waiting to get feedback once a year:  Feedback on how your doing needs to be an ongoing activity.  Waiting for an annual review is so 1985.
  7. Being afraid to be vulnerable:  Leadership today is more complex than ever before and today’s leaders are under more pressure than ever.  Don’t try to go it alone.  Seek ways to get yourself the support you need.  Asking for help makes you strong.  Not weak.
  8. Worrying about “building your brand”:  worry instead about doing really great work.
  9. Sending lousy networking emails:  stop, stop, stop sending out “touch base” emails that provide absolutely zero value to the recipient.  Everyone is drowning in their own to-do lists and doesn’t have time to add your networking needs to their list of to-do’s.  Provide value in every single interaction.
  10. Leading without passion on purpose:  Are you connected to “why” you’re a leader?  Do you think about a higher purpose in the work you’re doing every day?  If not, you’re missing out on an amazing opportunity to leave an impact that goes far beyond your time in your role.  What a shame that is.

Those are my top 10, what are yours?

I hope you find 2013 to be an amazing time for you as a leader.  We all have the opporunity to make a great impact in the work we do.  If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you realize your goals in 2013, consider attending our upcoming information session on our dynamic peer program: The Roundtable for LeadersLearn more and register here.

Happy leading!

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