Posts Tagged Proactive

Habits of a Successful Career – Habit #2

Be Proactive - Adapt to Change

Be Proactive – Adapt to Change

 

Habits for a Successful Career

Habit #2 – Be Proactive and Adapt to Change

Being proactive and adapting to change are two sides of the same coin.  Proactive people learn to anticipate current/future events and take initiative to adapt their actions and/or to shape their results.  They understand change can create problems, but focus on opportunities change creates.  During difficult times, proactive people look for the good in people and events, and can be counted on.  They rarely are the ‘victims’ of change.

 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  We all have heard this old saying – about being proactive versus reactive in life, at home, or at work.  Both behaviors and concepts are needed.  When a crisis happens, the GOOD people are needed to react to the crisis, like firefighters, doctors, policemen, etc.  They are invaluable in a crisis.  But after the crisis, a doctor, firefighter, etc. would swear preventing the crisis in the first place is more valuable, and less costly, than great ‘firefighting’.

Yet many people, and businesses, ignore the benefits of being proactive, reverting to reactive processes and behaviors usually for the sake of ‘speed’.  The hope they have is that great firefighters will ‘reduce’ the impact of change or a crisis on a business, employees, suppliers, and/or customers.  Some people even thrive on being a firefighter . . . they love the adrenalin rush and immediate satisfaction of ‘fixing’ a problem.  But their behavior is a secondary asset to being proactive.  For every successful career or opportunity in reacting to events and change, proactive people have 10-20 successful careers or opportunities.

Being proactive means anticipating, acting and preventing a problem or crisis, or shaping the results of change.  After a firefight, they act to identify and solve the ‘root cause’ of the problem or crisis so it never happens again.  The benefits are reduced costs, improved quality and less negative impacts on employees, suppliers and customers.  The result includes more career opportunities and successes.

 

Be Proactive and Adapt to Change – You’ll Like It!

 

 



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Habits For a Successful Career – Part 3

Successful Career

Successful Career

                    Habits for a Successful Career-Part 3  

 

In Part 2 of Habits for a Successful Career discussed the Habit #1 for a Successful Career  – Define Success . . . . For YOU!

Defining YOUR success requires a vision and definition for Life and Career success values.  One without the other rarely works well, and Life Success Values is a prerequisite for sustained, Career Success.  Life Success Values are grouped in three categories: Healthy Self, Social Self, and Spiritual Self. We discussed how to identify your top 15-20 values across these three components, and prioritize the values.  The last  step was to score your success/fulfillment for each value.  Example Life Values/Scorecard can be found on Palomino’s web site at:   http://www.palominoconsultinggroup.com/Products.html.

To complete the Habit #1, we need: (1) finish  painting a vision and defining success for Career Success Values, (2) to build a map of 2 and 5 year goals aligned with the Life and Career Success Values, and (3) prioritize each goal.  These Career Success Values consistent of the several categories:

  • Achievement
  • Balance with Life Success Values
  • Work Environment and Culture
  • Advancement and Growth
  • Work Relationships
  • Compensation and Security

As with the Life Success Values, identify your top 15-20 career values across the above categories, and prioritize the values at the present time.  Last step is to score your success/fulfillment for each value.  An example Career Values and Scorecard can be found on Palomino’s web site at:   http://www.palominoconsultinggroup.com/Products.html.

That completes Defining Success for YOU.  In the pursuit of fulfilling, consecutive, progressive achievements,  a successful career, we need a map of prioritized goals of how to get there.  For example, if one of your important career values is rapid advancement, then a set of your high priority goals may include:

  1. Complete project management training in 12 months.
  2. Complete and achieve PMP certification 18 months.
  3. Network to get assigned to at least 3 achievable, visible projects and opportunities over 24 months.
  4. Build network of 12 top performing peers in 24 months.
  5. Build a network of 6 company leaders/mentors in 18 months.

It is important that your goals can stand up to the ‘SMART WIN’ test.  See if the above goals are:

  • S pecific
  • M easureable
  • A chievable
  • R ealistic
  • T imely
  • W ritten
  •  I mportant, Not Urgent
  • N ear Term

Next we will discuss Habit #2 – Be Proactive and Adapt to Change.

 



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Seven Habits of a Successful Career

Successful Career Moves

Successful Career Moves

 

Time is nearing for another group of bright, young people to graduate from college.  Many are interviewing for their first job that begins a career.  They are prepared having spent about four years taking over forty classes in a variety of areas of knowledge.  Thousands are eager and ready to go.

But wait.  After years of schooling and a degree(s) in their chosen area, most of the ‘habits’ these new graduates need for a successful career were not emphasized nor taught in their curriculum. They were taught ‘subjects’.  People’s ‘attitudes’ and ‘behaviors’ are the biggest differentiator in a successful career.  People need to embrace and develop these Habits sooner than later.

 

 

 

The Seven Habits for a Successful Career include:

1)   Define Success/Goals and Priorities

First and foremost define what success is for YOU – career, professional and personal.  Too many people have their definition of success defined or overly influenced by family, friends, etc.  Second, layout a path to achieve your success by setting 2, 5 and 7 year goals.  Lastly, prioritize these goals and events.  Repeat this exercise at least every 2 years and/or after a significant life event.

2)   Be Proactive and Adapt to Change

Proactive people learn to anticipate future events and take initiative in shaping the results.  They understand that change can create problems, but focus on opportunities change creates.  During difficult times, they look for the good in people and events, and know proactive people can be counted on.

3)   Build Trust and Credibility

Trust and credibility is like oil.  It’s the ‘stuff’ that makes relationships with people work.  Consider this. “With high trust, success comes faster, better and at a lower cost” says David Neeleman, Founder of JetBlue.  Trust is not just a touchy, feely concept.  It (interpersonal trust) is an attitude or state of mind that has been cultivated between people.  Consider this definition of trust from the Covey’s:

TRUST = One’s Character + One’s Competency

4)   Embrace a Passion for Learning

After enduring four or more years of college, most are ecstatic to get out in the ‘real world’ – and quit studying.  But if a successful career is one of your goals, then recognize that learning is a journey, not a destination.  Success requires continued knowledge and skills improvement in areas like current events, technology, selling, business, management, communication, leadership, etc.

5)   Put Some Gratitude in Your Attitude

Successful people are consistently enthusiastic and energetic, and their attitude is contagious.  Others want to work with people with this attitude. No matter how much success a person may attain: (1) never take yourself too seriously; (2) be a team player; (3) have fun; and (4) celebrate other’s successes.  Cultivate others that have put some gratitude in their attitude as team members, colleagues, mentors, coaches, etc.

6)   Understand the ‘Business’

Most people’s careers are associated with business ventures – small, medium, or large.  No matter what position/career a person holds, successful people have at least a good breadth and depth of knowledge about their business.  Learn and continue expanding knowledge in the business including: the industry, business model, products and customers, processes, technology, economics, financials, etc.

7)   Develop Your ‘People’ Skills’

People skills are very important regardless of where a person is in their career.  But later in a career if a goal is to be an executive/leader, accomplished people skills are mandatory.  Continually learn and improve an array of communication skills including: listening, listening, listening, writing, speaking, presenting and selling.   In addition, successful careers are usually associated with people that have built strong relationships and networks.  Lastly, cultivate people that will be your coach and mentor, and return this help by coaching and mentoring others.

 

If a person becomes accomplished in these Seven Habits, and masters some, their goals will be in reach, and can be successful in any career.  And remember  . . .

We are what we repeatedly do!

Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a Habit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Aristotle

Update:  See discussion on 4Q’s of Successful People which compliment these 7 Habits.   http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130621191454-73785410-the-four-qs-of-career-success?trk=tod-posts-art-

 

 



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IT Organization Success

Keys to IT Success

 

 

 Keys to IT Organization Success

No secret, for decades many IT organizations have struggled to be successful – probably more so than any other.  When is the last time you saw a dozen articles on the struggling accounting, marketing or human resources organizations?

Martha Heller in a 2010 CIO Magazine article discusses IT struggles and suggests a few ‘paradoxes’ in IT organizations that may be barriers to a successful IT organization.

  • The Business wants IT to be strategic, but force them to spend most of their time on operational issues.
  • IT needs to be stewards of risk mitigation and cost containment, yet expected to innovate.
  • IT is seen as that of an enabler, yet is also expected to be a business driver.
  • IT can make or break a company, but its leaders are infrequently members of C-level executive groups.
  • IT is one of the most pervasive, critical functions, yet must prove its value constantly.
  • Many IT successes are invisible, yet its few mistakes are highly visible.
  • IT project teams are accountable for project success, even if the Business has ownership.
  • IT staff loves new technology, but must embrace/understand the Business to be successful.
  • Many IT teams/people are uncomfortable dealing with people, but to succeed must build relationships, influence others, and resolve conflicts.
  • IT infrastructure is a consistent, long-term investment, but the Business thinks in quarters.

And here are a few more paradoxes I have experienced:

  • The Business wholly adopted  ‘BPI’, but IT has poor processes and rarely has budget for improvement.
  • C-level executives believe IT costs too much and fails to provide comparable value, but have limited knowledge of IT project or operational successes.
  • C-level executives expect IT to deliver new, strategic capabilities to their Business unit, yet most of the project identification, priorities and governance is driven by Business users and managers.
  • IT needs/must align its goals/objectives to the Business, yet the Business units goals/objectives are not always aligned with each other.

Any of these barriers hinder IT leaders and organizations from being valued and successful.  They can be mitigated and/or knocked down, but requires a relevant, achievable Strategy, competent People, and consistent, repeatable Processes.  In addition it also takes the IT leaders and staff to embrace/develop these 7 Habits of Excellence.

  • Build  Trust and Credibility
  • Develop  a Proactive Culture
  • Understand  the Company, Business Model, and Industry
  • Align  with Company’s Goals and Objectives
  • Lead  People  -  Manage Things
  • Adapt  to Change
  • Embrace  a Passion for Learning and Improvement

 

Developing these 7 Habits of Excellence will mitigate or eliminate barriers and result in these IT organization benefits:

  • Faster Throughput (projects and processes)
  • Less Costly (unit costs)
  • Better  Quality (products, software, systems and processes)
  • More Agility  (change)
  • More Capacity  (w/o more resources)
  • Better Risk Management
  • Better Place to Work

What IT paradoxes is your group facing??



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“An ounce of prevention . . . “

Pound of Cure-Firefighting

Pound of Cure-Firefighting


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We all have heard this old saying – about being proactive versus reactive in life, at home or work. We need both concepts. When a crisis happens, we need the BEST people to react to the crisis, like firefighters, doctors, policemen, etc. They are invaluable in a crisis. But after the crisis, they all would tell you that preventing the crisis in the first place is more valuable and less costly than ‘firefighting’.

Yet many businesses and IT organizations ignore the benefits of being proactive, reverting to reactive processes and behaviors usually for the sake of ‘speed’. How many times has an IT team become totally reactive in implementing a project and then ‘fixing’ it after the fact. Yet they hope that being great firefighters will ‘reduce’ the impact on the business and its suppliers and customers. Some people even thrive on being a firefighter. They love the adrenalin rush and immediate satisfaction of ‘fixing’ a problem. Love them because they are needed in IT. But they are needed as a secondary process and behavior.

Being proactive means anticipating, acting and preventing a problem or crisis, or after the firefighting, taking the time to solve the ‘root cause’ of the problem or crisis so it never happens again. It may seem at the time that it is slowing a project, process or service, but if you look at the overall timeline it usually does not take longer. The benefits are reduced costs, improved quality and less negative impacts on employees, suppliers and customers. All are much more valuable than the best ‘firefighters’ in the world.



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