Weekly Thought – August 8, 2017
Fred’s thinking aided men and women for decades. He didn’t “shoot from the hip,” even though his style seemed extemporaneous. He invested hours considering questions from others who asked for his help. This week we excerpt some of his ideas on getting ahead in business.
Please continue praying for BWFLI as we develop the BWFLI Mentoring Roundtable which will roll out in 2018. We are organizing his mentoring questions, articles, and Fred Saids on the subject for use in focused campus events.
Plan Your Progress
File your flight plan carefully. It isn’t enough to have a personal plan for progress. It is also important to know how and with whom to file. Don’t assume the boss knows what you want for the future. Tell him or her carefully. They may think (and probably do) you want to do anything the company wants you to do. If you have a preference, then it is best to let it be known enough in advance not to work an inconvenience on the corporation at the time a change comes up. Be clear on what promotions, what segment of the business, or even location you prefer. Be willing to be inconvenienced for the business. But also recognize there is always a strong possibility your goals and that of the company can be coordinated. Don’t assume everyone knows.
Be sure your personal plan is written out. Often I’ve asked people what they want and their answer is, “Something better.” They wanted me to define it for them because they had not taken the time and effort to do it for themselves. Personally, I don’t believe I have ever had a boss who was more interested in my progress than I was. And certainly they didn’t have a greater responsibility for it than I did. Therefore, I needed to work the plan out in writing and as specifically as possible.
Senior executives have a clearer view of the overall strategy and the road ahead. There is a more satisfactory fit if they know what you want. Most will be impressed if they see you have thought it out. However, you don’t want to express these plans in a way which appears self-serving, or threatening.
And a warning: don’t give out more of the plan than is reasonable for the foreseeable future. If you want to be President, it is usually better to get to Vice President first! Too much advance talking can bring envy, opposition, and frustration. Keep a great deal of flexibility in any plan. Give out only those parts to those who can help at the appropriate time.
Be sure your plan is of mutual benefit to your employer. A selfish plan is dangerous. If it is totally selfish, then keep it to yourself. Selfish plans require manipulation and they don’t usually work out naturally. I found those with singularly focused on self-serving goals often failed to succeed in the long run.
This week think about: 1) Is my personal progress plan in writing? 2) How clear am I at work about my career goals? 3) Who should be included in my planning?
Words of Wisdom: “Be sure your plan is of mutual benefit to your employer.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Do not withhold good from those who need it, when you have the ability to help.” (Proverbs 3:27 NET Bible)