Stepping Up

April 26, 2012 at 11:18 am 2 comments

I finally finished Charlotte Beers’ book, “I’d Rather Be in Charge”, which I started quite awhile ago. And, as to be expected, my initial take on the book was not borne out by the rest of it.

In fact, the book is very much a guide to figuring out your true self at work, so you can recognize opportunities to lead and your reaction to those opportunities. She emphasizes the need to highlight your best qualities and shed (I think that’s the exact word she uses) your less than ideal ones – and the only way to do that is to know yourself.

I really found this fascinating. Sometimes in my work, I feel like I’m drifting along – doing this task, that task, writing this report, making that request – without any sense of who I am at work. It wouldn’t change the outcome – I’d still get it done and done well – but it would change – as Beers emphasizes over and over again – the delivery. 

And, my friends, according to Beers – and it seems to make sense to me – the delivery is what really counts. Everyone Most can do the work, at least reasonably well, but you need to put your best foot forward and make sure the work gets properly noticed. It all comes back to knowing yourself.

I also appreciated Beers assessment of leadership – it can come in menial, every day moments or in big moments, but there are probably opportunities to lead on a daily basis that most of us miss. This bite of insight is critical for understanding your role at work overall – are you doing everything you can to step up even when doing your routine tasks? If not, how can you reasonably expect yourself to step up in those big moments? You’d be out of practice! It also takes a little pressure off when thinking about becoming a Leader. It’s not One Big Moment – it’s lots of moments, and you can start immediately, not wait until a critical meeting or big moment of disagreement.

All in all, Beers made an excellent case for getting to know yourself so you can step up your game at work – and step up when it matters.

Finally, many of my work resolutions can be addressed by figuring out myself – my “portrait” as Beers called it – first. Even though April is almost over, I think I am going to start this book back at the beginning, and really do a lot of journaling and writing about her suggestions and guides to figure this out.

Who am I at work? Who are you at work?

It seems so obvious now that only the answers to these questions can open the doors for us to step up.

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Entry filed under: Work. Tags: , , , , , .

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