What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…
I’m back in London and sitting in a café bar with my Business Development Director. We’re soon to meet a well-connected, very insightful contact he’s set up for me. We talk for the first time about the misalignment bonanza between us over the past months.
I realise now that he had held back from opening up his network to Mirror Mirror because the proposition just isn’t right. It’s not something he feels he can sell. I don’t know how far that was conscious or unconscious, but while I’d been super task and delivery focused with the plan to revamp and sell sell sell, he’d been more people and impact focused. I’d lost trust with him way too quickly and he’d lost the communication with me way too quickly.
Since I am already six year with the current company I decided to make a lateral job change within my organization to gain experience and to increase the potential for advancement. Often I am being asked maybe its time to move on. You have been already so long with the company. A way too traditional mindset. I am all for thinking out of the box and exploring new ideas and different mindsets. A job in a different department offers greater responsibilities and challenges. I can stay at the same location and be transferred laterally in another area. I choose this path instead of moving on and search for a challenge in a new company.
Reflecting on this choice makes me more determined to invest in this new function. I get the opportunity to learn new disciplines in the same branch. It gives me a new perspective with my current 20 years experience. When you have spend 2 decades in a specific discipline you develop skills which extends beyond the technical knowledge. Due to globalization and fast paced technological progress It is more and more evident that soft skills need to be enriched along the way. One of the most important soft skill is the ability to see from another perspective than your own. Empathy is a skill to be strongly illuminated. It offers us a chance to gain insight in a topic or situation from another angle. If excersized from different angles this skill will enable us to make profound decissions. Self reflection another essential soft skill which if not possesed will restrain you. The lack of these skills can decrease employee productivity. Which soft skill are desired by companies depends on the cultural fit. In my opinion ownership is one of the soft skills which I feel the majority needs to focus on. Once I got the advice which sounds like this. In your profession you are the CEO of something whatever you’re responsible for.
Taking ownership of your work means assuming responsibility for helping the organization as a whole to succeed. I invest in the outcomes of my work, implementing ways to do things better and holding myself accountable when there is a negative outcome. I analyze, find solutions and perform on those solutions. This also gives me pride in my work and energizes me. Too often I meet people who do not enjoy their profession. Have lost passion in what they do or didn’t have the passion in the beginning. When the foundation is not solid how can we expect it will flourish. There was no ground to start with.
One of my personal challenges is my strong assertive personality. Too much assertiveness can become domineering. I am working on polite assertiveness. It helps addressing problems calmly and forthrightly and not shying away from difficult or cumbersome conversations.
To conclude my favorite list of soft skills;
Openness to Feedback
Putting effort on a daily basis to develop and operate based on this soft skill set.
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