Passion - Creatis
I have created a fictional business executive named Grace. She's seasoned. She's smart. She's worked for great companies. She's steadily risen through the ranks. She goes 'all in' and is 110% committed to the company. And she's been given the chance to "pursue other opportunities" several times.
As you probably have already figured out, Grace is not a totally made up person as she is based on personal experiences from transitions I did over the course of my 30+ year career. I know first-hand that exiting a company will be the most terrifying and the most liberating experience you have (get) to face in your professional career. But there is life after (insert company name here).
I know a business executive named Grace. She's seasoned. She's smart. She does yoga. She calls herself an 'intrapreneur'. She only knows how to be 'all in' and is always 110% committed to anything she takes on. And she's been given the chance to "pursue other opportunities" more than once.
As you may have guessed, Grace looks a lot like me and how to "Go With Grace" is based on my transition experiences over the course of my 30+ year professional career. I know first-hand that exiting a company will be the most terrifying and liberating experience you have (get) to face. But have hope... because I guarantee that there is life after (insert company name here).
According to Wikipedia, “my two cents” is a United States idiomatic expression taken from the original English expression ‘to put in my two pennies worth’ or ‘my two-penn’orth’. It is used to preface the tentative stating of one’s opinion, because by deprecating the opinion to follow (suggesting its value is only two cents), the user of the phrase hopes to lessen the impact of a possibly contentious statement, showing politeness and humility.
How interesting! (But, of course, that’s just my two cents.)
As I begin sharing personal and professional comments via this Creatis blog, I certainly hope you find my opinions and content useful. Those that know me well might suggest that I am not one typically afraid of sharing my point of view. But what I have shared in the past was often more carefully ‘managed’ then they might have realized.
I love change, always have. Which is why I think Fall is my favorite time of year. Changing colors. Changing temperatures. Changing wardrobes. But too much change in a career is a bad thing, right? We all know that staying in a job for a least two years is GOOD and that being branded a 'job jumper' is BAD. But for me, career changes have been a blessing (even though I expect I looked more like this picture during that time than I care to admit). But in life and in business, the real truth is that the more things change the more things DON'T stay the same. And thank God for that - or life would be very, very dull.
I have the privilege of connecting with many highly talented business professionals who are in the midst of changing jobs. Some by choice - some not - but all in the same state of uncertainty about what will come next that can truly be debilitating. In my previous blog about How To "Go With Grace" During Life's Transitions, I shared what I have learned during my four job transitions:
- What you DO is not who you ARE as a person.
- Build your network before you need it.
- Finding a job IS a job.
- Take full advantage of experts and resources available to you.
- Take time for YOU.
So with all of this change happening around me I have been pondering - what makes some people more successful in managing change than others? Why do some people thrive when facing a job transition and land on their feet so successfully while others become stymied with no plan for moving forward? One of our team members did a little digging for me about how people who successfully handle change are wired, and he found an interesting post on forbes.com that identified the top things that make someone adaptable which include:
- Adaptable people see opportunity where others see failure.
- Adaptable people experiment.
- Adaptable people stay current.
- Adaptable people don't whine.
- Adaptable people don't blame.
- Adaptable people are curious.
- Adaptable people know what they stand for.
The good news for me is that I see myself in all of these traits (well - except maybe the 'don't whine' part on occassion), which I know has helped me successfully navigate the job changes I've faced. How much do they describe you?
So I'm an extrovert - pretty much always have been. For those of you who are also extroverts, I bet you immediately thought of me as engaging, energetic and talkative gal who might be fun to meet for a glass of wine. For all you introverts out there (including the one I married), I heard your loud groan from here and bet you were thinking - 'Ah geez - here comes another Chatty Kathy who is going to talk my ear off and sap all of the energy right out of me'. But even us Chatty Kathy's know when to keep our mouths shut. Or - at least we are working on it.
So before we get to the debate around who makes a better leader - extroverts or introverts - let's talk Chatty Cathy as I am sure you are dying to know her history. Chatty Cathy was a pull string 'talkative' doll manufactured by the Mattel toy company from 1959 to 1965. The doll was first released in stores and then appeared in TV commercials starting in 1960. Chatty Cathy was the most popular doll of the 1960's after Barbie, and "spoke" phrases at random when the "chatty ring" protruding from her upper back was pulled. Chatty Cathy's original repertoire included 11 phrases like, "I love you", and an additional 7 phrases were added in 1963 to include such compelling asks as "May I have a cookie?" Hmmmm....wouldn't it be interesting if all off-the-chart extroverts were restricted to just 18 phrases during any meeting. Wonder how that might change the flow of discussions.
Because extroverts tend to be outgoing, charismatic, socially confident and communicative - we fit right into the Chatty Cathy persona. Introverts, on the other hand, are typically deemed as shy, quiet, modest and cautious - someone who needs time alone at the end of a long day to recharge and who is less likely to dominate a conversation or have to be the center of attention. As I expect you know, there is a ton of research out there on who makes a better leader between extroverts and introverts which I find just fascinating (although sometimes contradictory). And of course the answer is neither.....or both.
Extroverts tend to command the center of attention and be the head of a discussion, which makes leaders with that profile very effective at invigorating others around them and managing people who like to follow. Introverts, on the other hand, have a predisposition to listen to and consider the suggestions of others which makes them great at leading highly proactive employees who wish to have a say in what gets done and how. Extroverts are great at providing vision. Introverts are calm in a crisis. Extroverts typically have a huge network of friends and colleagues that a business can access. Introverts are typically excellent written communicators and highly effective in building one-on-one relationships both inside and outside your organization.
So which is better? Guess you'll have to pull my Chatty Kathy string to hear my answer this time. But I know we all agree that diversity yields better results and to be effective as a leader you must surround yourself with people who bring different skills and competencies to your team. But for all of us extroverts who naturally tend to dominate a room and who JUST WON'T STOP talking, some words of advice: two ears, one mouth, use proportionately.