Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Secret to Success - Longevity

One thought that keeps interseting me is the fact that a lot of successful managers and leaders have stayed true to their businesss skills and quite a few of them have spent their entire careers working for one employer.

This reminds me of the fable - "The Tortoise and the Hare".  At the end of the day the hare was found lacking and the tortoise showed internal fortitude, diligence, discipline and mental toughness to keep moving towards his goal - even though it appeared he never had a chance to acheive his goals.

Imagine the SWOT analysis you could carry out on that scenario!
  1. Strengths.  Hare - FAST!  Tortoise - slow.
  2. Weaknesses.  Hare - complacency.  Tortoise - speed.
  3. Opportunities.  Hare - new personal best.  Tortoise - show inner strength through focus and determination.
  4. Threats.  Hare - birds of prey.  Tortoise - sunset.
I am picturing the hare as being the person who is always in a hurry to make the next move.  Not so much within an orgnisation but certainly across different businesses and organisations.  The tortoise may take a lot longer to reach the same heights as the hare but you can be rest assured there will be few risk areas of concern with the tortoise. 

The hare in it's haste does not stop to reflect on the path travelled or what it would do differently next time.  The tortoise does.  It may stop, think about and take the safely, safely route but it will ensure that when it reaches it's destination it won't have to double back or repeat any parts of the course.

In my view (as a middle aged manager amongst other things) I am thinking the right way for me to progress at the moment is to climb the career ladder one rung at a time, to learn and know the business from the inside out and to let my work speak for itself.  The tortoise approach to career management. 

At least for now anyway.

"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all." -Michelangelo

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