Stop for a minute. Think about this for just a minute.
What if I told you to run for your local school board? What if you ran and won? What if you then ran for City Council two year later and won that race also? What if you then ran for Mayor and won that after two years on City Council. Then what if you ran for State Senate, then Congress, then Governor, then Senator and then maybe after President? What if you kept winning every two years you moved higher and higher up in politics? Would your family and friends be proud of you? Would they be happy for you? Or would they criticize everything you do?
Stay with me for a minute, just another minute. What if you went to college and took business classes and then started working after graduation. You get a shot at a fast track program where you work for Six Months in Four Separate Areas of the Company. Then after Two Years they make you an Assistant Manager and then after a year or two you are managing your own Department. Every couple of years they move you into a new Department with Manger Level responsibilities. Then after 6 or 8 years of moving from one department to another you become a Director? Again would your family and friends be proud of you? Would they be happy for you? Or would they criticize everything you do?
So know, what if every year or two you switch jobs? How will your family and friends treat you? Will they tell you that you can’t keep a job? Would recruiters call you a job hopper? Will people even ask you the circumstances? If you are getting closer and closer to the job you always dreamed of, every time you switch jobs; you are on the right track. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. What does your career path look like?
Listen, there are only three types of jobs out there. The job you have, the job you need and the job you want. If you don’t have a job, find a job. If you have a job and it is not what you want, find the job you need to bridge the gap and get you closer to the job you want.
Job hoppers do not always just hop around because they are not working out, sometimes they are getting closer and closer to the job they want. It may be for any number of reason that someone switches jobs. I have heard that 70% of people switch jobs because of their boss. This does not speak to highly of Leadership, I can honestly say the number one reason for my job searches has been to find a better fit for my combined personal and professional life.
Job Hoppers get a bad reputation while people on the Fast Track have a Good Reputation, so how do we battle that perception. Keep your job search focused on what closely aligns with you Professional and Personal Goals. Never take a job purely because it pays a few dollars more than your current job. Look for opportunities to learn and grow professionally and look for opportunities that also fit your personal goals and your personality. If you and your bosses personalities do not mesh it does not mean that either of you are bad at your job, but there may be someone out their whom your bosses personality more closely aligns, just like there may be a Manager or Leader your may want to work with because they more closely align with your personality. What does your career path look like?
Do not worry if your family or friends understand. Some people where their length of service like a badge of honor. There is nothing wrong with finding a place you love to work and sticking to it. But that does not mean it will happen to all of us. The only thing we can count on is that times will change. Very few of us will be able to stick with One Company for life. Most industries are moving faster than ever. Will you let not looking limit your career choices?
Step one is to have some kind of goal in mind. Step two is to do a reality check. Step three is to make a plan on how you can move up inside and outside your company. Step four is to swing the bat. The last step is to realize no matter how well you have played, plans change. Change with the time. Improvise your plan not your goal. What does your career path look like?
Really honestly, what does your imagined career path look like? Can you find mentors and coaches where you are that can help you make it a reality? If so, stay where you are, if not, find them somewhere else. Sometimes if you and your boss do not fit well, it is win-win for you to move to another department or another company where there is a better fit for both parties.
Last but not least, do not let your family and friends pass judgment on you for changing jobs if they do not know or do not want to hear the details. You are the one who has to look forward to going to work every day. Find a job you look forward to going to everyday.
Again, remember; there is the job you have, the job you need and the job you want. Sometimes you may have to hop around once or twice to find not only the right job; but the right job at the right place and the right time, with the right team. What does your career path look like?
Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. This is one of those posts that I take more seriously than most. I take all my posts seriously in a caring way. I try not to take myself too serious. I try to be able to laugh at myself, I try to be able to take the advice I give. I try to do my homework and double-check the facts. So today, I take it all to the highest level I can. Today I tackle the best advice I could ever give to someone. Today I try to explain the path.
What is the path? Imagine for a second there is a place where the truth and love co-exist with no spin, no conditions and no catch in any way. Imagine a place where the truth is the truth and love is true love. This place is the path. When you are on the path you realize the best way to love someone is to tell them the truth. And the best way to tell the truth to someone is to love them. Not a lust or physical love, I am talking about a spiritual and emotional love. So I ask you; if you love someone would you have them believe a lie? I also ask why would you tell someone the truth only to hurt them?
The path is the place where Love and Truth surround you and flow through you. The path is the place where you can feel safe and secure because no one is there to hurt you or try to deceive you or to try to take advantage of you. This is so plain and so simple to think about, and yet the path is so hard to find in everyday life. If people really love each other, why can’t they tell each other the truth? If people are standing for the truth, why would they try to hurt each other? So take a look at the world we live in, we are surrounded by people who say they stand for the truth and yet try to hurt others. We are also surrounded by people who say the love you and then lie to you and everyone else.
Now I have heard it said there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. I find this to be true. Most people you talk to agree that people should treat each other the way they want to be treated. People agree that we should help each other, that we should love each other and we should tell the truth. So why do we live in a world full of hate and lies and war? Really, how many people are truly walking the path?
Now I am not saying this to be negative, I am saying this to be positive. No matter how crazy and messed up the world may seem, you can choose your path. You can choose between love and hate. You can choose between truth and lies. You can choose to walk the path or to go whatever way you want to go. The path is open to all. So I ask again, why do so many people agree and yet so few choose to walk the path? Is it easy to be on the path? Honestly I have to say the answer is no. Too many people think the easy, quick way is the best way. Too many people try to find a way to make the fast money or find excitement making other people lose so they can win. Too many people make themselves feel good at the expense of others.
The quick and easy route never turns out to be quick or easy. The good times fade fast and the promises turn out to be empty. The best thing about being on the path is that what you find there lasts. Things may not come quick and easy, but the results are real and lasting. The path where truth and love walk together hand in hand is the best path. And when you think about it, the truth and real love always walk hand in hand.
What does it take? How do you know you are on the right path?
I guess it takes faith.
I guess it takes patience.
I guess it takes understanding.
I guess it takes love.
I guess it takes truth.
So I am seeking truth. I am seeking not only knowledge but wisdom. I am learning how to love on a less conditional level. I am not well enough equipped to love unconditionally, but I can be happy for people as long as their pleasure is not the cause of my pain. I try not to be the cause of others pain.
I am trying to be a better listener and I am trying to understand where others are coming from. I am trying to look at things from more angles and more perspectives. Some things I still do not understand though. If you say you love someone, would you and should you not do everything you can for them? It takes patience so it seems.
I am not the best with patience. I am trying though. I am trying to believe in something bigger than myself. I am trying to believe in something bigger than you and me. I believe in the power of us. I believe that everyone working together can get a lot more done than everyone working separately. So let us work together. I think that is what God wants us to do anyway.
So the right path is the best path for everyone. The right path is that path that makes things better for everyone. The right path harms none. The right path is grounded in patience, understanding, love and truth. So it takes truth, it takes love, it takes understanding and it takes patience and faith.
I guess that is what it takes.
How are you today? I hope everything is great. I had a great weekend. I am typing this draft on a Monday; who knows when I will get around to posting it. I learned a valuable lesson about leading, following and listening by playing the drums. This is my story of Leading by following; the tale of a drummer boy.
I got to play the drums this weekend. I practiced with a new group of people a couple of times and we played the next day. Now usually, I play the bass guitar or the guitar or keyboards, or the drums. I play whatever I need to play to get a chance to play; and this time I was asked to play the drums.
Not many people view the drummer as a leader of a band. This band consisted of a keyboard player who sang and two guitar players, one who sang backup and I was on the drums. Usually the Singer / Keyboard Player played alone. This was the first time trying to make a band fit together. Everyone was looking to me to take the lead and they would follow me.
The first thing I did was go through my mental check list of the best advice I had learned about music and the best advice I had learned from drummers. First and foremost the drummer has to set a steady beat. Second the drums should be at a consistent volume; not too loud, and not too soft. Also there are general rules of music. “Keep it simple” and “Less is more.” After going through a mental checklist, I asked myself. How do I lead, when I am learning the songs in my own right?
In each case, I was able to be a good leader by being a good follower. For each song, I let the Singer / Keyboard player start. I kept a very basic very minimal lead in and found the beat that was being created by the music. I had to find the beat before I could control the beat.
For just a minute let me give you an example of very basic drum beat. First Step Count to four and then repeat: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4. Ok now on the 1 and 3 put a Bass Drum Sound – “Boom” and on 2 and 4 put a Snare Drum Sound – “Snap.” Now your Pattern would sound like this – Boom – Snap – Boom – Snap. Now in between the 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 you see dashes. On the dashes put a Click. This click is from a High-Hat which is Two Cymbals pressed together to provide accents to the Beat. Now a basic drum beat goes Boom Click Snap Click, Boom Click Snap Click. Now reduce this very basic beat to just Boom Pause Click Pause Boom Pause. This overly simple beat was the way I started most of the songs. Before I took the Lead on the Beat, I followed the beat being created as the Keyboard Player and Guitar Players were finding each other. Once I could clearly hear the rhythm they were creating I would take over with Boom Click Snap Click, Boom Click Snap Click.
As the songs will develop I would continue to go through my mental check list. Am I setting a steady beat? Am I hearing the instruments clearly? Are we playing too loud? Am I playing too soft? Are we getting too complicated? For me to lead, I had to listen and follow what others were doing. Once a clear direction was taking shape, I had to set the tempo and keep the tempo nice and steady. Not too fast, not too slow, not too loud, not too soft and not too complicated. The key to leading was following and the key to following was listening.
We worked on how to start each song, and how to end each song. We worked out a very non-verbal form of communication. We had to create a road map for our performance. We had to set clear directions and goals for the songs. The beat was just the beginning. We also had to work through all of the changes. Can we keep a clear and steady direction through the changes? Even though the feel of the songs may change from verse to chorus or from song to song; we still had to stay on pace and on path with each other. Again, the only way for me to lead the song and through the changes was to follow and listen to what the other people were doing.
Some leaders get lost because they do not keep a steady pace that others can follow. They move too fast and others can’t keep up. Or they move to slow and lose the feel, they lose the rhythm; effectively they hold people back. Some leaders get lost because they are too loud. The can not hear others. Some leaders get lost because they are to quiet and their message does not get through. Other leaders get lost because they are too complicated, there are too many rules and regulations to the point where people do not know what to do next and nothing comes naturally. I learned a valuable lesson of leading by following and listening when I played the drums. If you set a steady beat, people will do what comes naturally.
So what did I learn by playing the drums this weekend? If you set a steady pace, listen to others and can agree on direction; people will move forward together in a very natural progression. To lead you must listen and follow. Leadership is not about being the loudest or the softest, or the fastest or the slowest; but being the most consistent and being the person who others can rely on to set a steady pace.
P.S. everyone was very happy with the final results, and the performance was very well received.