Are you generating choices for yourself

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Colin was tipped out in a reshuffle. He was not sure how to start rebuilding his career, particularly to take things in a new direction. He had a reputation as a reliable technology leader, but he wanted to break into a more strategic role where he could make a bigger difference. He was passionate about what it takes to build sustainable high growth firms. He had learned through his global experience that the key to doing it successfully was to have a great team.

Colin was passionate about building sustainable high growth firms and embarked on a series of conversations with people in his network to get their views on the challenge. Everyone he spoke with provided valuable insights from their own experience. He returned the value to them by sharing his own ideas and the combined intelligence he had gathered. He published the results of his market survey in a paper and turned it into a captivating presentation on the topic, which made him a sought-after speaker. People liked his passion for building sustainable high growth businesses and they connected him with interested people in their networks. Opportunities started to show up from his extended network for roles that offered him a chance to make the difference he knew he could make. He became known for his insights and landed the strategic role that he had envisaged in a business that was seeking sustainable high growth.

Colin now knows that he has more choices having confirmed for himself that the market is seeking the value that he offers. Here is a summary of the steps that Colin used to generate more choices for himself.

What you want

  • Be clear about what you want, not so much the job title as the key ingredients of your ideal role

What you offer

  • Clarify the unique value and passion that you bring to solve a problem in the marketplace


  • Engage people in the market who have valuable insights on the problem you have identified and exchange value with them. Note, this is more than ‘networking.’


  • Create a personal charter to clarify for yourself whether your values align with the values of opportunities that you are evaluating


  • Follow up when people advocate on your behalf and do what you say you will do

New possibilities

  • Be willing to see yourself in a new way

On this last point about seeing yourself in a new way, Jennifer Garvey Berger in the book, Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps: How to Thrive in Complexity, suggests that one of the pitfalls for leaders is that ”we protect and defend the identity we have rather than open to new possibilities.”

Are you generating choices for yourself?

Best regards, Brian

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