Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dr. Rob's Leadership Tips from an Elephant Farm in Thailand

We will return to our discussion on Career Evaluating next week, but while in Thailand I have had an experience which translates well to being a leader.

Today I had the privilege to ride an elephant up and down a mountain in Thailand  in a rain storm. Before climbing on the elephant named Marie, we were taught these crucial lessons:

  1. If we expect to turn our lives over to the care of elephants, we must take exceptional care of them.
  2. First be kind to them, learn their names, and don't walk behind them.
  3. Be sure they are healthy physically and mentally
  4. Feed them well, especially when getting to know them.
  5. Keep them clean and well groomed.
  6. Give them plenty of praise and affection  
  7. Never punish them

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I tried these and am here to report these lessons worked well.I was close to the edge, survived and had a ball. I hope they are helpful to you.
What leadership lessons have you learned from your adventures?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Career Evaluation- Question 1

Last week I described a process I have developed to help my clients evaluate where they are in their career development and what decisions they need to make about the future. I talked about four key questions people should ask themselves when making career decisions. The first question is: Are you passionate about what you are doing in your current job? If not, what type of work would make you feel more passionate?

For several years I have worked with Roger Newton, who is CEO of Esperion Therapeutics. Roger clearly knows what his passion is: finding a cure for heart disease. His first efforts resulted in the development of Lipitor. Now, through Esperion, he is continuing his pursuit. This year, Esperion has completed a successful initial public offering (IPO) raising $74.9 million in net proceeds. Roger’s work is an example of what can be achieved if you continually follow your passion.

Here are a few ideas on how to understand your passion at work:
  1. What do you deeply care about? For example: What do you read about? Talk about? Think about?
  2. Notice what brings you the most joy in life. This is a key clue to understanding your passion.
  3. Ask yourself “When I have had a great day, what was I doing and what was I not doing?”
  4. Over your lifetime, what is the theme of activity that has always resulted in you being highly engaged?
  5. What topic most evokes a strong emotional reaction? Passion is about emotion.
  6. If you ask other people, what do they think you are passionate about? You might consider sending an email to people who know you well to ask them what they see you most passionate about.
  7. As a friend recently pointed out, the root of the word “passion” is “to suffer”. Ask yourself, what are you willing to “suffer” for in order to achieve a result? I always tell myself that anything worth achieving requires facing distinct difficulty, experiencing internal struggle, and facing risk.

Once we figure out what it is we are passionate about, we should take the time to make sure our career is in alignment with this passion. When we engage in work that is not fulfilling, or something we don't feel strongly about, it is easy to become complacent and stagnant.  Not only does this hinder our own personal growth, but the growth of your company as well.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Are You Where You Want to Be in Your Career?

Lately, I have been coaching several of my clients and friends on career decisions. Whether they are in the first, second, third, or fourth quarter of their career, trying to figure out what to do next is a complicated and scary proposition.
To help my clients and friends, I have developed a process to evaluate where they are in their career and where they want to be. Over the next several weeks, I plan to share with you details about the process.
For the process, I have developed four key questions:
  1. Are you passionate about what you are doing in your current job? If not, what type of work would make you feel more passionate?
  2. Are you utilizing and developing your full unique combination of skills and talents? If not, what type of work would make you feel more fully engaged?
  3. Is your work in harmony with your values? This would include personal, family, societal, and ethical values?
  4. Financially, are you making enough money to meet your current needs, to feel like you’re earning what you deserve, and to fulfill your desires now and in the future?

I am looking for stories to help illustrate the challenges people are facing in their careers. If you have an example, please post your current dilemma.
Next week I will share with you tips on finding your passion at work. If you have any suggestions, please post them.