The release of ChapGPT has a sparked a lot of interest in the field of Generative AI. This is especially how this technology drive even deeper business transformations
There is always the notion that to earn more, one has to provide good value to specific audience that is willing to pay for what is offered. This applies in both business and career contexts. How do you get this done? Is there a simple way to explain this which creates maximum traction?
The first thing to clarify is to stop focusing on Job titles and instead focus on Impact. For example, someone could be a VP in a company that is stagnant but in reality actually have more impact and rewards as an Individual Contributor (IC), in a company that is more dynamic and growing.
There are three principles that can be useful to grow your career and have maximum impact - They are (1) increase Scope, (2) expand your network and (3) build a bigger team. Lets break these down
1. Increase Scope - This naturally gives one more surface area to cover - Can be considered in the context of quantitatively and qualitatively. Impact will come from the quality of the work being done, not just how much work you do. In practical terms, it's good to see what is in demand and focus on how one could contribute there. It could mean learning a new skill or simply doing some intense research to become useful on specific topics. The main question; is the work you do providing sufficient impact and challenging?
2. Expand your network - This means in order to have impact, it's important to have partners that will help in this process. For example, if the area is new, getting a mentor who is an expert in that space could be one approach. Look at it from a value chain perspective, then see how to relate to different players in the ecosystem to surface new opportunities. A bigger network can provide help to grow in several ways. Another example, if you are a small business or startup, getting more investor partners could help grow the business faster.
3. Grow your team - This depends on the role you play currently. If an IC, then maybe it's to build relationship with others that can help deliver on projects. A person that is a freelancer, can look to hire more sub contractors to offload specific tasks or to take on new complex work. Naturally a manager or business owner would hire more persons into the team to take on more new work and scopes. Again, quality versus quantity is an important consideration for the team. What skill sets are required to help you grow? who can help you achieve specific milestones?
Ultimately, the goal here is to scale yourself in a way that ensures wellbeing and maximize impact. John Maxwell, states that for a business to grow the leader has to be growing too. If the leader is stagnant, the business will be the same. Therefore, growth is a mindset that applies in pretty much any areas of your life. Alternatively, consider the Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) approach to driving career growth decisions.
What is your approach to career growth?
There is so much buzz nowadays about the concept of leadership. Everyone that has some position of authority seems to call themselves leaders. To burst the bubble, that is not what leadership really means. Yes, getting certain positions does open up the opportunity to lead. For example, if someone is the president of a country then being a good leader would definitely help them in that role. John Maxwell, does provide some very good insights on the topic and mentions that the position is merely level one (of five levels) in the ladder to be a real leader. He also points out that the organization is always one level behind the leader, so if someone is always stuck at level one, the organization will struggle to achieve any meaningful results. This is usually followed by constant churn of people coming in and then leaving.
Leadership can be very complex in larger organizations but it really comes down to some basic principles to be an effective leader. Here are a few:
Once, the vision (The concept of MTP is a great way to create vision statements) is fairly well understood, then it's time to sell it to others for them to join in on the mission of achieving that vision. Good communication is critical which also goes into how the leader enables that the team for the vision. Humility really comes into play as an important characteristics of a leader. One has to accept that the focus is on the vision and not yourself. In the bible, the Jewish messiah is a great example of being selfless at all times. Most aspiring leaders fail at the art of humility as they always seems to like authority and the spotlight of credit and so forth. It is very important to listen and enable within the context of the vision. Let the smart people share their part of how things could or should work. Of course others will praise you for achievements but have to avoid distracting your energy away from achieving even more. Never forget to share the accolades with the team that is helping to achieve the vision.
The final important point is that the leader has to set examples. Always demonstrate full belief in the vision and going out in front to fight for it. In ancient times, kings would lead their troops into battle. Not just hide in the palace and hope things work out. The leader has to keep learning, get into the trenches and support the mission 100%. This could mean doing just about anything to help. Outsourcing is great to get help but you just cannot outsource the core of ensuring things get done.
Taking these principles and applying them to even more complex situations will work. For example, the CEO of a large multi-divisional corporation has to know how to organize the business to succeed without the need to babysit every single employee or manager. The CEO has to rely on important leaders within the team to do their part. Typically, for large companies, it make sense for the leader to be at what John Maxwell calls level 5 leadership. This is where the leader focuses on creating other leaders in the business or movement.
The world has needs to fix many issues, so there is no shortage on the need for great leaders that can take on challenging issues and work with their teams to find the best sustainable solutions. Let's be part of the solution and not the problem.
Hope this gave some good insights, feel free to share your perspective