Career Intensity Business Strategy for Workplace Warriors and Entrepreneurs AUTHOR: David V. Lorenzo PUBLISHER: Ogman Press, Inc DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2006 NUMBER OF PAGES: 213 pages
Are you one of those people who always get a creeping feeling of dread on Sunday evenings because they know they have to get up and go to work again the next day? If you are, then chances are you have strayed far from your career potential and not really doing what you were meant to do.
But a financially, emotionally and mentally rewarding career is not impossible. Successful entrepreneurs and business executives all have something in common – career intensity. And “Career Intensity” by David V. Lorenzo shows you how you can acquire this drive, passion and business strategy to achieve success in your chosen field.
THE BIG IDEA
I. Take Charge of Your Career
Most of us measure success by how quickly we move up the corporate ladder. Too often, we are happy enough to take our salary increases, bonuses, and other work privileges, not realizing that there is more out there for us. We accept the twinges of discontent and dissatisfaction and tell ourselves that this is what work is all about.
But the truth is, a richly successful and satisfying career does not come by through luck. It is something that everyone can enjoy if they have Career Intensity. Career Intensity is the drive for continuous self-improvement. And the steps outlined below will show you how to acquire this approach and pursue a strategy that will dramatically change your career for the better.
Today’s economy places great value on the performance of the individual. This is why successful business people and executives today think like entrepreneurs. They don’t wait for a boss to tell them what to do. Instead, they work to increase their individual value and differentiate themselves from their competition by staying out in front of the latest initiatives. They are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and work continuously to adjust and improve their performance. In other words, they practice Career Intensity.
In effect, Career Intensity means building equity for yourself. While most people in the past maintained loyalty to companies they work for, today’s successful workers and entrepreneurs have ultimate loyalty to themselves. .
II. What is Career Intensity?
III. Positioning Yourself for Value Creation
Workplace warriors are the backbone of any large organization. They stay in cubicles and follow orders, rarely straying from their own comfort zones. They work by the clock, and take comfort in their job security.
Management mavericks are often perceived as rogues in an organization. They take risks and implement actions without the support of internal and external customers. While their actions are sometimes successful and do create value for themselves and their organizations, this is not understood or recognized. Hence, management mavericks are often seen to create internal tensions within a company. Thus, their future with the company is often limited as well.
Intrepreneurs understand the value they create in a company. They have well-defined personal competitive advantage and work hard to leverage their talents/skills to be the best at certain tasks and make a difference for the company and their customers. Intrepreneurs posses almost all the qualities of Entrepreneurs with the exception of risk tolerance: they prefer to work in a corporate environment.
Entrepreneurs are value creators for their customers. They often start as aggressive, passionate individuals committed to the success of their careers. They are decisive and their actions are swift and bold. They are driven to achieve. They are often creative, not in developing new ideas, but finding new and improving uses for old ideas.
III. Positioning Yourself for Value Creation
IV. Channel Your Passion
Let Go of Fears
To do this, you must first learn to let go of five common fears that keep most people from achieving success – fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of commitment, fear of disapproval, and fear of success.
Next, start a mental training regime by challenging yourself with increasingly difficult tasks that require you to be alone (e.g. painting, writing poetry, getting a degree). This will help you push your limits and develop the mental toughness you need to succeed. Winning these challenges also gives you more and more confidence in yourself.
Practice Outcome-Driven Thinking
Practice outcome-driven thinking. Approach every interaction – a meeting, a phone call, an email - with an end in mind. This helps cut the clutter and enable you to be almost twice as productive. Outcome-driven thinking means being in the moment, knowing that what you do right now will have an impact on your future. Outcome-driven thinking lets you avoid time-wasting activities, prioritize important activities, and make better decisions.
Harness Your Imagination
Use your imagination to get some leverage in mapping out your future in three ways. One, consciously shape your daily activities to move you closer toward your goals. Two, make changes in your environment that will influence you – consciously and subconsciously – to focus on your goals. Three, behave as though you have already achieved your goals (or already assumed the position you would like to achieve).
IV. Channel Your Passion
V. Embrace Strategic Thinking
Consider Five Factors
To think strategically, you must always consider five important factors. First, how much time you have for a decision/action/plan. Two, how much control you have in a situation and what is beyond your control. Three, how much experience you have in the area. Four, what you don’t know or the factor of the unknown. And five, the outcome finality or how big or small an impact your action/decision/plan will potentially have.
Manage Your Emotions
Strategic thinking also requires that you keep a cool head. First, learn to acknowledge your instincts and feelings. So at the start of your decision-making process, make a list of possible ideas and solutions based solely on your gut instincts and emotions to rid yourself of their nagging and put them into perspective.
Plan For Contingencies
While developing and pursuing your plan of action, you should also have a plan for contingencies. Visualize what could go wrong and prepare measures to deal with them so that you do get sidetracked or caught off-guard.
Make Sure You Have a Stress Release
-- Embrace boredom. As artists often go years between works of art, allow your mind to wander at times to generate the calm and quiet time that normally precedes the creative process.
-- Take time out. Allow your creative energy momentum by giving it free rein when it flows and get the help of other people to do other tasks or normal activities that may disrupt its flow.
-- Walk around. Long walks can inspire great ideas to flow freely, as well as other routine activities that do not require much concentration.
-- Tap into your subconscious. You can do this by writing down all your thoughts on the issue/problem at hand and read through them to see if a good idea comes to you.
V. Embrace Strategic Thinking
VI. Attack Your Goals
Goals are essential to the process of continuous self-improvement. Setting proper goals is equally important. You have to make sure you set SMART goals – or goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Tangible.
You also need to have Long-Term, Medium-Term, and Short-Term Goals. Long term goals are your overarching goals that are set to be achieved within a maximum time period of 10 years or less (maximum of 3). Medium-term goals have one-year timeframes that contribute to the accomplishment of your long-term goals (maximum of 9 items). Short-term goals are weekly or daily action items that you can do everyday (maximum of 27 items).
VII. Create Your Own Luck
Take Calculated Risks
One, take calculated risks. This means listing proactive steps you can do, playing the odds, avoiding assumptions that are not based on fact or reality, and recognizing that there may be a greater risk in doing nothing.
Create a Positive Environment
Creating your own good luck also means creating a positive environment and keeping a positive attitude. You can do this by surrounding yourself with positive people and reminders of your unlimited potential, as well as by mastering your thoughts and keeping them positive.
Follow the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle (attribute to the Italian Vilfredo Pareto) is the “theory of the vital few and the trivial many.” It means a few (20%) greatly influences the outcome of a situation, and the many (80%) have a limited impact.
VIII. Prepare For Every Interaction
One quality that separates successful people from others is preparation. Successful people are always well-prepared. Thus, you need to prepare for every interaction you have with other people. Follow the three Rules of Engagement:
Know yourself (and your company) or know what you want to gain from the interaction. This means having a good knowledge of your company, your services and products, and then having a plan on how to convey your message across.
Investigate your target. This means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes (customer, prospective client, etc) to get a good idea of what possible questions, issues they may bring up and how you can respond.
Define and execute a plan of attack. This means making a plan of the meeting itself, how you are going to start, and what outcome you would like to achieve. A good meeting plan has three elements: an objective, an agenda that you want to advance, and a call to action.
IX. Master Perception
In pursuing success, you also need to recognize the importance of other people’s perception of you. Successful people use other people’s perceptions to their advantage. There are five rules to mastering perception:
You are what you are. So don’t be pretend to be something you are not. Be hones with yourself and your customers.
Consistency is critical. Regardless of what business you are in, your customers must be able to count on you
There are no “do-overs ”. This means first impressions are critical so you should always put your best foot forward.
Clarity is a gift. This means using simple, clear and concise language and messages to communicate.
Show, don’t tell. This means conveying your message not just intellectually, but emotionally. Instead of explaining a concept to a customer, tell a story, show a picture or perform a demonstration.
X. Generate Buzz
There are seven types of stories that you can use to help you generate buzz about your personal brand. These are:
Sex, lies and the outrageous. Everyone loves to talk about these topics
The Who-dun-it or using mysteries to captivate your audience
The hype. Hype is enormous anticipation built up through constant messages.
The Cinderella Story or the underdog story.
The Hilarious. Humor is also a good way to convey messages.
The Hero. Another favorite are stories where people rise up to do something unexpected.
The Secrets. People love to be in on secrets so you can also use this angle to generate buzz.
XI. Rules of the Road
As you continue on your path to success, remember these rules to make sure you achieve your goals.
Believe in yourself and have faith in the quality of your work, product or service.
All of your dealings must be moral, ethical, and legal.
Your efforts must follow the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Always treat others with respect and make sure they keep their dignity when dealing with you.
The best ideas are their ideas. Allow others to take the credit and see how much more work can get done.
Always focus on value creation, for yourself and for others.
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