Make It Happen
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Most athletes understand the importance of stretching: avoiding injuries, becoming more flexible, and improving performance. But unless your business is fitness (or you are a performance athlete) how might this be relevant to you?

First, let me suggest that you ARE a performance athlete, but in the arena of business. You require flexibility (not to mention strength and endurance) if you are to succeed in your career. The question of course, is how to develop it.

Many athletes recognize that to excel, they must push themselves beyond what they are currently doing. Again, this is no different for the health of your career. To succeed, you must move beyond your comfort zone, and stretch yourself “up” to the next level. Career growth requires you to grow – and the operative word is “you”. Here are some ideas:

1) How often have you taken on new challenges within your work group? Ask your manager if you can help with something different.

2) Do you avoid a “scary” part of your job (public speaking, sales, etc)? Figure out why it is scary, and craft a plan to become comfortable doing it.

3) How involved are you as a volunteer outside of the office? If you are a marketing person, for example, consider taking a financial role: do something different!

4) When was the last time you took a course outside your area of specialty? Invest in yourself, and broaden your perspective.

5) When was the last time you tried a completely different sport or hobby? Feeling comfortable doing new things after work will help you adjust to – and take advantage of – changes at your workplace.

New experience gives you different perspectives, intellectual flexibility, and a recharged outlook. Athletes stretch for a good reason, and so should you.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

Who are those individuals who organize charitable events, act as fundraisers, and sit on not-for-profit boards? How do they find the time, when the challenge of Balance means that time is at an all-time premium? In addition to the “feel-good” that comes from helping others, there are some importance benefits that might make you consider investing your time in this type of activity.

Sometimes, when we think of “Life Balance”, the problem isn’t too much work, but rather, too little life. If you get involved with a not-for-profit organization that is meaningful to you, you accomplish several objectives:

  • Personal diversification, beyond work and family.
  • Networking
  • Learn and demonstrate additional technical skills (which you can bring back to your job)

This last point is probably the most important. Most people first learn while at school, then learn on-the-job – and that’s it. Taking on a community responsibility provides another invaluable source of intellectual enrichment.

The difference between those who get involved and those who don’t is simple: those who are involved are already reaping huge personal benefits, while those who aren’t involved have yet to figure this out.

How to start: if you have a particular affinity to a group (health-related, community, religious, etc), give them a call, and ask if they are looking for volunteers. Decide whether you would like to be involved on a continuing basis, or on a specific initiative, such as an event. Think about whether you would like to lend a hand as an organizer, or be involved at the grass-roots, hands-on. Usually their web site has detailed information about the organization, it’s goals, and contact details.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders