Mallory started the Zoom call with her coach talking about how frustrated she was to be assigned as an on-boarding mentor to a brand new team member. It sounded like an opportunity for added responsibility and a chance to exhibit leadership skills. The coach was confused why Mallory was unhappy about the situation.
After a few minutes of conversation, it became evident that a chemistry issue divided Mallory and her new mentee. Her coach explained that the differences should not impede Mallory from accepting the responsibility and performing at a high level. If a young leader wants to grow, she needs to learn to work with everyone, not just the people whose personality is appealing to her.
If you want to grow in your career, then Rule #1 is: When given responsibility, take it. It doesn’t matter how small or seemingly insignificant the role is, it is usually a stepping stone to greater responsibility, if you perform well. Leaders who are faithful in the small things are often given bigger and more responsibility in the future.
Assuming additional responsibility, increasing leadership competency and consistently delivering results are critical on the path to leadership opportunities. If you see something that needs to be done, then do it and do it well.
Early in my career at Chick-fil-A, my first boss resigned and the organization was not quite sure where to place me. They took months to decide. While they were contemplating my future, I was creating it. I simply did what needed to be done. At that time, the company had very limited processes and no systems for selecting the corporate staff. It was causing a lot of chaos for hiring managers, human resources and the candidates. Not to mention that my boss, Truett Cathy, kept receiving “you done me wrong” letters from confused and disappointed candidates. I made it my job to stop the chaos and the negative letters through creating processes and systems for the organization to use to select extraordinary talent.
No one told me to do it. In fact, for a little while, I am not sure anyone knew what I was doing, but there was a need, so I took responsibility for providing the solution. Soon after, the organization realized I was doing something useful – solving a problem, so they gave me a promotion and the resources to effectively improve our selection processes.
For the most part, my 33-year career grew out of accepting that responsibility in the first few months of working at Chick-fil-A. When we take on responsibility, we often have no idea where it will lead us. Sometimes, it's just another chore and sometimes, it's a career game changer. Click To Tweet You won’t know until you accept it and pursue it. If you want to crush your career, begin by taking every opportunity for additional responsibility.
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