Career Stepping Stones or Stumbling Blocks?

Temujin 2 years and 9 months ago
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Before jumping into new opportunities, it's wise to take stock of yourself, and your actions. Temujin, a Friend of Disqovery, shares some of his insights in this personal story. You can also read his earlier blog posts on picking your battles, and breaking free.

Career Stepping Stones or Stumbling Blocks?

I recently embarked on a new chapter in my career by switching from something that I was definitely good at to a job that is a big leap for me in terms of skill set. I have three challenges in the upcoming year and have been spending a lot of time thinking about my approach to overcoming them during my holiday break.

At first, I was upset because of the overwhelming odds, but then I remembered what I learned about leadership. I started learning about leadership in military school and have been studying it in some shape or form ever since.

I was fortunate to see military leadership exemplified in the corporate world because I ended up working for a manager that graduated from West Point. He managed to transform an organization that was on the verge of chaos into a high-functioning team with extraordinary morale.

Here are a) my challenges, b) the toxic employee’s approach, and c) the leader’s approach:

  1. Finance Skillset
    1. Finance background is not strong.
    2. Just coast and learn as you go.
    3. Take initiative to learn as much on my own by asking a lot of questions, reading books, and watching videos.
  2. New Team
    1. Four out of the five people in my team are new and we are learning how to mesh as a team.
    2. Compete with team members, don’t let others shine, and follow the lead of people with toxic attitudes.
    3. Encourage the team, share my strengths, acknowledge my weaknesses, and gain rapport through humor.
  3. Organizational Chaos
    1. The company just went through a large acquisition and almost everything is changing. Everyone has to get up to speed on the organization’s processes and systems.
    2. Complain without suggesting a resolution to the problems.
    3. Flex my organizational skills by openly communicating with my team, structuring the processes properly, and solving the 20% of the issues that will act as a force multiplier for completing 80% of the workload.

Leadership is a behavior and attitude that is exercised and it can transform your stumbling blocks into stepping stones.