I’ve been reading a great book, The Corner Office, By Adam Bryant. I’m sure many of you have heard of it and perhaps read it. If you are an aspiring leader, I highly recommend this book. The book contains some valuable lessons from CEOs and high level leaders (from many companies across all industries) on how they got to the corner office as well as what they look for when they are seeking new team members. Not only are there many things in that book that resonated with me as a business leader but also from a coaching perspective.
I coach many leaders who are seeking higher-level opportunities and looking to advance their careers. One thing that was written about in the book was Career Management and how these CEOs got ahead in their careers as well as the type of advice they received as they were advancing. Terry Lundgren, CEO of Macy’s, talked about a poster in one of his boss’s offices that was a picture of a little tree in a pot and it said, “Bloom Where You Are Planted.” This poster speaks volumes about one of the most important things we must do if we are to get ahead in our careers – we must do well where we are!
High potential, high performing individuals are often in such a hurry to move on, move up and get ahead that they forget that in order to do any of this, they must first, do well where they are. They must perform in their current role, do well in that role and grow in that role. Once they do really well where they are and bloom where they are planted, they will be presented with the next opportunity. This really is the precursor for all career movement and, often times we are so excited for what’s next, we may forget that before we can get to what’s next, we must focus on where we are.
What’s next most certainly will not show itself until you demonstrate that you can perform well where you are. So, focus on that and the next opportunities will surely show themselves, in one way or another.