What do you want to be when you grow up? As a child, my ideas about how to answer this question changed frequently. Whenever I found a subject, industry, or a job that seemed interesting, I would “dive in” (a generalist’s attribute) and envision myself in those roles. My parents expected me to stay in school, and one day, have a career. I wanted to embrace that expectation but couldn’t figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. However, I only wanted to pursue work in a particular field if I genuinely found it interesting.
Our society expects us to choose a career and focus on developing skills and expertise in “one field” for the rest of our lives. In other words, everyone expects us to have discovered our career choice and decide how we’re going to develop expertise and prepare to land our ideal job. Furthermore, we need to make many of our preliminary career choices and decisions before graduating from high school. A hundred years earlier, in a society with less complexity and diversity of career roles, the above goals and timetable probably seemed reasonable. However, maybe it’s time to consider that a generalist may also benefit from preparing for a diverse but progressive career.
Why launch a blog about career generalists when it has little to do with our core business? It’s not as far-fetched an idea as you might think. This introduction will explain what I’m doing by transitioning this blog and why I’m doing it.
Entrepreneurs (or small business owners) with positive attitudes are hopeful and confident about the future success of the businesses they start, regardless of the challenging circumstances of the present.
It’s hardly breaking news, but most surveys indicate individuals prefer to work with someone who is positive rather than negative. What is interesting is that a more positive attitude can dramatically improve the decisions we make, the opportunities we pursue, the people we connect with, the focus on our current mission, the determination to continue learning, and the level of our performance.
There is an inevitable connection between self-confidence and business success. Those who struggle with inadequacies, whether real or imagined, often find it difficult to succeed. In contrast, confident individuals stand tall and proud as they manage stressful situations.
Little things usually blow over, but when you mess up “big time,” you can lose credibility with your stakeholders, lenders, vendors, and even customers/clients. Whenever this happens at work, it can be difficult to regain the credibility you’ve lost.
You may have taken a “short-cut” to get something done quickly, and now you’re in trouble. Maybe you didn’t handle a customer’s problem adequately, and now the account is in jeopardy. Perhaps you took a significant risk, it proved disastrous, and now your employer is considering your possible termination.
There are numerous tools and systems available to support better time management. Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs understand the details of their business but cannot seem to grasp that a lack of organization can sabotage their success.
You started a business, and you need your network of clients, prospects, and supporters to have confidence in you. No one has confidence in a disorganized business owner. Seriously: Once you become known for being disorganized – No one is going to have confidence in you. That’s not good for you and could be disastrous for your business.
Building a small business means coping with stressful situations daily. As stress continues, it hinders the ability to focus or think clearly. The inability to think clearly can lead to bad business decisions that can negatively affect your business’s growth and development. The more stress you experience, the more frustrated and impatient you may feel, which can increase your stress even further. Likewise, the adverse effects of increased stress will prove detrimental to the business, and your health if this increase remains unchecked.
No one is immune to making mistakes—it’s universal among human beings. However, it’s the determination and ability to overcome our mistakes that distinguishes some in business as exceptional. Successful business and organizational leaders learn how to manage their mistakes objectively. They logically accept their fallibility and are prepared to overcome potential problems they may have unintentionally created. Unfortunately, when I hear employees and management acknowledge mistakes in the workplace, too often, their reason for doing so is to blame someone else.
More organizations are augmenting the traditional criteria for advancement to management roles in an increasingly competitive business environment. Obviously, technical skills, past employee performance, and tenure are all crucial factors, but they’re no longer sufficient for determining management potential.