Monday, January 12, 2009

2 Degrees of Separation

When you are about to take on a new and different home improvement project, you can just dig in and give it a try, or you can talk to people and look on-line for others that have done the same thing. Experience has great value. I have never prided myself as having invented a solution for the most complicated problems. I do consider myself to be good at networking, learning and adapting solutions from one situation to be helpful on a new problem.

So, it did not make sense to complete my one opportunity at a career reboot without the wisdom, knowledge and experiences of some of the most successful rebooters before me. Pulling on the network archive (thanks Kevin), I did just that this afternoon. John P. Strelecky is likely known to many of you, but if not – he was a very accomplished business consultant that did a complete career reboot in 2002 and is now an internationally acclaimed author (The Big Five for Life - Leadership's Greatest Secret, The Why CafĂ©, and Life Safari), speaker and traveler. Coaches and mentors come in any size, age and location. The relationship and desire to be a part of something is the key. These Johns found areas of commonality and opportunities for future collaboration. It all came about based on a strong network and understanding that others have the expertise.

When have you had a challenge and engaged the best to help you?


Timy said...

When I started on my journey to better myself I could have never done it by myself. I needed the advise and direction of people who have walked in my shoes. I take the responsibility of my accomplishments but I definitly do not take all the credit.

Anonymous said...

A note of caution regarding a reboot. I've found that succesful people are so used to being active and getting things done, that the vacuum a reboot creates sometimes makes them uncomfortable.

The discomfort then propels them to action, but more times than not, the action returns them to their previous comfort zone. Not because it is what they want, but
because it is what they know.

Time spent in the vacuum, and the associated discomfort is a good spot to be. It forces you to get clear about what you really want to be doing, seeing, and experiencing on the other side of the reboot. Without that clarity, the next five years end up looking a lot like the previous five.

Anonymous said...

Good question, John.

I have never had a single mentor, but there are several wonderful people who allow me to bounce ideas off them from time to time.

Sometimes they just give the reassurance that I am on the right track. Other times they give a little nudge when I need it.

Best of luck with your reboot. We are all rooting for you.

Anonymous said...

In some ways it has always been about who you know. In Lester Thurow's book, Building Wealth, I think a good argument is made for expecting o go through multiple reboots across both companies and fields during the course of a career. So networking is certainly going to become increasingly important.

I had many important challenges that were extremely difficult and complex while I was in the military. I am confident from leadership, peers, and subordinates that I had some of the best in the world helping me. When it really counts, I think people who are serious about world-class results do not hesitate to engage the best possible resources available.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting and thought-provoking question, John. But I wonder whether or not one can ever really do a reboot.

I went to college and graduate school to study History. After I graduated, I went down the only path I knew at the time: I became a teacher. It wasn’t until I was out in the world, meeting people, and learning about what they do for a living that I realized there are other professions that may jive with my interests. I started going to school at night to study Finance, and six years later I have found myself in a completely different profession. In this case, the people who provided the best advice and encouragement were the people who were closest to me: family, friends, colleagues, fellow classmates – the list goes on and on.

I am suggesting that we can never fully reboot because when I made the move from teaching to finance I wasn’t completely starting over. I had my eyes opened to other avenues and pathways, new interests which at one point I didn’t even know I had. I felt more like I was building and growing rather than restarting the computer so to speak.

In a much larger sense, this is our role as leaders: to inspire in others those things that lie within and remain unexpressed, make those things visible, tangible, and have them make a difference for others.

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