If You Knew What You’ll Know

Nice simple piece at Businessweek today on your own perspective at the age of 95. I roll this into the same category of what you’d realize if you were fighting cancer and in remission. There are some events in life that help us cut through the fog and attain some level of clarity on what’s important.

In conducting research for one of my books, my co-author and I interviewed more than 200 high-potential leaders from around the world. A key question that we asked was: “If you stay in this company, why are you going to stay?”

The top three answers:

1. “I am finding meaning and happiness now. The work is exciting, and I love what I am doing.”

2. “I like the people here. They are my friends. This feels like a team—like a family. I might make more money if I left, but I don’t want to leave the people here.”

3. “I can follow my dreams. This organization is giving me the chance to grow and do what I really want to do in life.”

Lucky Career Breaks

The Roman philospher Seneca is often quoted as saying, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Rajesh at Life Beyond Code writes about ways to distinguish yourself and the continous spiral syndrome.

Can you remember those days when you worked hard, gave it your best shot and got tired at the end of the day with all the activity that was happening. The sad part was that except your age nothing much had changed after a few years.

He reminds me that it’s not enough to show up every day and do the job well even if you work long hours and meet with success in the eyes of your employer. Regardless of how frequently your company tells you “people are our greatest asset” and touts their development programs and career opportunities, it’s ultimately up to each of us to keep our eye on the tasks at hand (short term career survival) AND our own future (medium and long term career survival).