10 Career Mistakes You Will Make

I recently talked with a company president, who wasn’t enjoying his job and doing what he did best, sell. As a result, the company was suffering because he wasn’t happy. With my help, he hired a general manager and focused his attention on developing his sales team to sell. He learned by correcting his mistake and moving forward with intentionality — enjoying his job again. The company quickly regained profitability.

Throughout my 23 years of executive coaching, I discovered there are business professionals that quickly excel, and some that take longer than others to “get it.” Some never get there and relive their mistakes, instead of learning from them. Those that move forward in their careers faster know it requires self-awareness, willingness to roll-up your sleeves to learn the job and ability to work with and through others to achieve the intended results.

The common factor for those who moved forward and excelled quickly is they hired an executive coach – to talk and walk them through their career mistakes. Whether you believe you will make mistakes or not – rest assured you will make them. By working with an executive coach, you will be able to identify mistakes quickly and use them as learning opportunities.

10 Key Traits that Make a Difference

  1. It’s not about you. This is probably the biggest error you will make. You will allow your ego to get in the way, and make the career journey all about you — your wants and your desires. Focus on developing your people by practicing humility and appreciation for others.
  2. Be respected and liked. While it’s important to be both, you will probably focus on being liked at the expense of being respected. Unfortunately, likeability is fickle. In order to attract and keep great clients and top employees, learn how to make tough, and at times, unpopular decisions.
  3. Do the right things the right way. It requires taking the time to investigate, ask the right questions and ensure the workability of any idea or change. Too often in your haste — mostly due to lack of experience and failure to listen — the expedient route is taken. This quick fix derails results and deters people from following your leadership.
  4. Patience is not a virtue. While everything is not urgent, having too much patience will actually send the wrong message to your team, clients and bosses. Develop the ability to get priorities done in a timely manner. Design systems to ensure the customer (internal and external) are consistently served in a timely way. Be sure the procedures and policies are being followed.
  5. Healthy conflict. Become a healthy leader by knowing how to disagree without creating a battle, or war. Be comfortable sharing differing ideas and concerns through brainstorming to ensure everyone is heard. This is a great opportunity for you to become a strong facilitator that ensures win-win outcomes.
  6. Build trust. Elicit the best in others — it will build loyalty. Stop using language like punish, discipline and other demeaning words. People do not take well to threats of losing their job, pay raise, bonus, etc. Employees are adults. It’s important for you to treat them as peers.
  7. Compassion. It’s important to empathize with others and their challenges – personal issues will occur. Allow them opportunities to process their grief and upset in a manner that doesn’t detract from the group. However, be aware of employees who create mischief or have too many excuses for not getting their work done. They are often in the wrong job.
  8. Entrepreneurial mindset. Too often you love to talk about the “big” picture, believing you have the greatest insights. However, all talk and no action limits your career. Roll-up your sleeves, brainstorm ideas, create the right team, and design workable action plans. Then, manage the milestones along the way to ensure intended results, optimal performance and profitability.
  9. Take responsibility. With the title and paycheck comes the responsibility for how well your team achieves the intended results, and the process of how they get there. Without micro-managing, check in and ensure people are on-track, customer complaints are handled effectively, and any problems are quickly resolved before they become future elephants.
  10. Have fun and celebrate. Daily, weekly, monthly and/or quarterly take time to acknowledge any and all achievements with the team. Objectively review those items that didn’t work out as expected. Create do-able goals for the next time period and know that together the people on the team can achieve anything.

If your career is not moving upward, talk with an executive coach to help you focus on the issues that will make a positive and powerful difference for you, your team and company.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2015

Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and facilitator for over 23 years; she guides the creation of new solutions for business challenges and is the author of two books, Hire Amazing Employees (BizSavvyHire.com) and It’s Time to Brag! (Time2Brag.com). Check out her website: http://SeibCo.com or contact Jeannette at http://SeibCo.com/contact.

To get career fit, contact SeibCo today: http://SeibCo.com/contact

To purchase the book, “It’s Time to Brag! Career Edition” go to: http://Time2Brag.com  

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