Here’s a question for the executives out there: Why is it that we take such great care of our garden, our wine collection, our car, our boat, and obsess over our golf swing, but when it comes to our careers we are often negligent?
This is not to say you should become fanatical about your career, but you should ask yourself if you are giving your career the appropriate amount of attention.
Two of the best ways to do this are to constantly build and maintain relationships and to stay current in your field.
Building and maintaining relationships
Research has shown that not building strong interpersonal relationships within the first six months on the job is high on the list of reasons executives fail.
It shouldn’t be. Building and maintaining relationships is not a time-consuming activity. In as little as three minutes, you can say hello to everyone you know and introduce yourself to everyone you don’t know. This is a simple way to maintain and build relationships.
Another powerful technique is to embrace those you don’t agree with. Listen very closely to your opposition; not only does this make you a more dynamic thinker, but it also builds relationships with people when you might otherwise butt heads.
As an executive, this doesn’t mean you have to understand all the nuts and bolts of your business, but it does mean you need to understand the trends in your industry and market.
The good news is, keeping up to date only requires a few minutes a day to read blogs and article summaries from your industry. Many of the most successful executives will reach out to experts they find online and establish a personal connection. This is a great way to learn and to recruit top talent!
These two ideas barely scratch the surface but, hopefully, they will get you thinking.