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Fix Me, Save Me, Complete Me - A Lesson in Accountability

Posted by on January 22, 2014 1:36 pm

ImageA Lesson in Accountability

I think Oprah has a bit of a crush on Tom Cruise.  He’s been on her show 12 times and she lights up when he walks on the stage as he did in her star-studded tribute shows leading up to her final exit last week.   Once Tom and the rest of the celebrities exited, her final show on Wednesday was quiet, graceful and instructive. 

Oprah quoted a line from one of Tom’s better-known movies, Jerry Maguire, where he finally realizes that Renee Zellwegger is the one.  We all remember the teary scene where Jerry professes his love to Dorothy by telling her that “You complete me” and she responds by saying, “You had me at hello.”

Oprah takes this line and then states, “You are responsible for your life and when you get that everything changes.  Don’t wait for someone to fix you, to save you, to complete you.”  Most of us, especially women, are often raised to believe that in order to be happy, someone must rescue us, marry us, provide for us, support us and complete us…that we are not enough.  This philosophy extends to our jobs.  We spend countless hours talking about how our training wasn’t adequate, how our bosses just don’t get it and how messed up our company is. 

Much in the same way that Oprah believes we are responsible for our own lives, I believe that you are the only person who can be responsible for your own career.  Periodically I meet with Convey employees, only to be surprised by the goals that they have for advancement within our company.  What surprises me most is not what they want to do, but the fact that they kept that information to themselves. 

All employees need to understand that managers and company leaders are not clairvoyant.  We don’t always know what you need or want.  Here are some thoughts on how you can take responsibility for your career so that you can have the opportunity to do new things, make more money and advance yourself in your job:

·  If you don’t know something, ask or find a way to learn it on your own.  Don’t complain that you weren’t trained well enough, but rather reach out to others that show expertise in the area you are struggling in, read and learn online, or take classes.  Learning doesn’t have to be spoon-fed to you by others.

·  If you have an idea, share it.  Schedule time with your manager or others to discuss your idea, and connect that idea to how it can bring a business result to your company.  Most business people look for ways to increase revenue or cut expense and if your idea falls in either category, you’ll find a willing audience to listen.

·  If you want to do something else within the company, explore it.  Find someone else in the job you want and learn about it.  Ask what it takes to be in that position and how they got there.  Talk to the people that can move you forward and ask them to define the steps that you need to take to get yourself ready.

·  If you’ve worked hard, gone the extra mile or done something well, do not expect that others will automatically be aware of that.  It’s up to you to let others know that you are delivering results above and beyond what was expected.

·  If your company won’t or can’t meet your needs, then you need to proactively find a new situation that will.  Don’t waste time in a situation that is not going to work out for you.

Good careers don’t just happen and they are not just a result of luck and timing.  They are deliberately crafted, designed and executed by you.  I agree wholeheartedly with Oprah in that not only are “you responsible for your own life”, but you are also responsible for your own career.  Management of that career requires a strategy, a plan, and promotion. 

Back to Jerry Maguire, all of my employees complete Convey, but you don’t have me at hello. 

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