Monday, March 16, 2015

Sometimes, the Smartest People in the Room Need the Most Help

Career Coaching

This message came to me from one of my career coaching clients.  He is a super-smart guy who is trying to figure out whether to turn his career to the left, to the right.  He is miserable in his current role but he is so intelligent and he has so much potential if he were just plugged into the right position.  

He came to me to find clarity around the next step he should take in his career to make it the right step.

My client (like most of my coaching clients) is gifted with highly analytical talents that truly do make him the smartest person in most rooms and he is definitely in the right field working as an information security professional.  

This is what my client shared with me that gets me excited about meeting him for our next coaching call.
"I'm thankful that you understand all of this because I'm just starting to figure me out." 
We all have the potential to be great at something but we can’t be great at everything.  

I’m helping this particular client to figure out where he can deliver the greatest personal and professional performance moving forward so he can package and brand himself properly, so he can set his sights on the right jobs and so he can get the most out of his personal marketing efforts.  My client needs a career road map that he can legitimately execute and follow.

Should I Manager and Lead or Should I Stay Technical?

We’re exploring issues such as whether he should manage others or whether he should stay on a more Engineer / Architect focused path.  This is a huge question for many people. 

I’ve witnessed numerous Managers, Directors and “C” level executives make it to Manager, Director and “C” level positions only to eventually retreat back to Architecture-focused roles.

This does not mean that these people are not intelligent.  

To the contrary!  These people are generally high in IQ.  They are bright technologists but they’re not so great at managing people, providing leadership, dealing with corporate politics, delivering presentations and translating Cybersecurity to business leaders.  Or, they might be really good at managing, leading and dealing with business issues but their passion revolves around technology and they're conflicted when they go to work in their Manager, Director and "C" level positions.

How can this all be sorted out?

Looking more deeply, people who do not excel at managing, leading, presenting, negotiating and dealing with corporate politics are usually people who are short in dominant Relationship Building traits and strengths and Influencing traits and strengths.  

On the other hand these same people are generally loaded with Strategic Thinking traits and strengths and/or Executing traits or strengths.

Once a person knows how their unique traits and strengths stack up, making left turns or right turns in one’s career becomes clear.  

It is this kind of clarity that I help my clients to achieve at and's Security Recruiter Blog