Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Mike Gets Coached...From Confusion to Clarity...a Light Bulb Moment!

My first call of the day today was invested into a Job Coaching client who called me to work through a decision he needs to make on an offer that just came to him.  We’ll call my coaching client Mike.  The offer Mike received is fair and the role is just a few miles from his home in busy Los Angeles where every mile one commutes can steal multiple minutes or even hours from their daily lives.

The Role

The role Mike has been asked to step into is a role that currently has no people management responsibility.  Mike has most recently been both leading and managing people at the Director level in a Fortune 500 company.  Mike’s thinking hit a brick wall of sorts and he needed to work through his decision making process with someone who understands the potential future implications he might face based on the decision he makes today. Mike was a smart guy to reach out for help today!

During this call we covered a lot of ground.  My coaching job mission for Mike today was to be a listener and the person who asked questions to get Mike to think in dimensions he had not previously considered.   

A coach doesn't have all the answers but a great coach has lots of insightful questions!

Our conversation progressed past the tactical here and now job coaching discussion to a discussion around career coaching and career transition coaching in the specific case of Mike.  What Mike learned about is the newest service I’ve pulled together combining my 24 years in the search and human capital management business with cutting-edge assessment technology.

My career coaching resources are vast. I’ve assembled some of the best technology in the world to go along with my experience in helping professionals to determine the difference between settling for what they “can” do and striving for what they “should” do.

The difference between “can” and “should” looks like this

A person who is highly skilled and generally smart is capable of doing many things.  Mike is one of these people.  These kinds of people often times take on roles because they can do the work but the get spread too thin.  Mike was in this situation in his most recent Information Security Director role. 

Human beings are a bit like rubber bands.  We can stretch to do all kinds of things.  Notice that I used that "can" word again.  We can stretch but if we're stretched to far to frequently, just like a rubber band, people snap.  By snap I mean that the polish up their resumes and start looking for that next job.  Notice that I called it a job versus a career move. 

When I took Mike back to the past when he was a consultant for a global management consulting firm for a decade, he started talking about the work he loved to do. More often than not, the work Mike did for the management consulting firm was that of an Analyst where he was solving highly complex problems for clients and not a Director.  As an analyst and as a consultant, Mike didn't have to get involved in the day-to-day politics of the corporation he was serving. As a Director, Mike spent most of his time sorting out political situations in his previous large corporation.

The Light Bulb Moment

It took a while but a light bulb moment occurred in Mike’s head.  We came to the conclusion that he was most aligned with what he “should” do when he worked for the management consulting firm.  He was stretched to what he “can” do when he was in the Director role.  He was most passionate about doing what he “should” do but he had never looked at his work this way until today.

Mike will very likely take on a high-level Security Analyst role where he’ll report to and he’ll be a right hand to a visionary and driven CISO.  We didn't dive into my powerful assessment technology to figure out the answer to today’s problem but once Mike gets settled into the new job, he’ll be back for more detailed security career coaching to further his personal understanding of how he is hard wired or what he was created to do. 

We'll build a security career road map for Mike so he knows where he's headed and he knows why he's headed in that direction from this point forward.

Mike now understands that when a person is doing work that is closely aligned with what they were designed to do, what they "should" do, when they’re spending most of their day working in their “sweet spot”, lots of exciting things can happen. 

Specifically, What Can Happen When Alignment Occurs?
  • Personal job satisfaction increases
  • Personal productivity increases
  • Those around the aligned person recognize their contributions
  • The aligned person gets to maximize the compensation possibilities for the work they’re doing.  I call this "Personal Stock Value".
  • When job satisfaction increases, tenure with a company increases.  The aligned person wins.  The aligned person’s employer wins.

Why do I write blogs like this?  

When I’m coaching people around job search topics, career development topics and leadership topics, I’m working in my sweet spot.  I’m working in a zone that I was designed to work in and work no longer feels like work.  I get to do what I'm most passionate about doing. That's why I share these experiences.  I want to have more of them with people who want to experience what I've discovered.

This is exactly what happened during my call with Mike this morning.

Care to know more?  Call me!'s Security Recruiter Blog