Building a Phenomenal Career out of Average Grades Steve Ash
What is standing in the way of your next professional shift? Is it your educational background? Your work experience? Your superiors?
Listen as Steve Ash, Engineering Manager of Fireball Equipment, and Resilience Radio host Kim Ades discuss how to move your career forward when it’s not moving on it’s own.
In this episode, we explore:
- What to do when you are not detail-oriented.
- How to mediate conflict as a leader.
- How to leverage a competitive spirit.
- How to know what’s next for you professionally.
- How to move your career forward when it’s stuck in place.
INSIGHT OF THE WEEK
“You don’t know what you’re going to find when you’re really focused on your strengths.”
Take a Listen!
Transcription: Building a Phenomenal Career out of Average Grades with Steve Ash
Here is a super interesting snippet of our conversation! See transcription (26:23 – 32:30):
Kim Ades: FOM Coaches help people who are highly driven, people who want to achieve larger goals and people like you who may want to lead the company, become the CEO or just move up. Do you have a question for this particular coach?
Steve Ash: I do. What advice would you give to someone who wants to take their career to the next level, be it becoming a manager or a VP?
Kim Ades: You know, I remember listening to something one day about how a person should move up, and the answer was by taking initiative. Take initiative with respect to your learning and your development.
They were talking about the fact that they didn’t have a computer at work, and they felt like it was the company’s job to get them a computer. The response was, no, it’s your job to get yourself a computer because it’s your career, it’s your life, it’s your learning, it’s your development, it’s your productivity and it’s your success. And so that’s very much in the same vein as what we’re talking about, right?
What do you want to learn? I would really focus on identifying the ways you want to develop on a personal level. What lights you up?
You said that you’re a good engineer and that you’re a really great manager. It sounds like your strength lies in the area of people. So how can you develop your leadership skills? What can you do in that realm? Maybe it means going back to school and getting an MBA. Maybe it means learning how to coach. Maybe it means getting a coach. Maybe it means spending some time on a personal level with all the CEOs you can find, interviewing them and learning about how they handle people effectively. It doesn’t matter what that looks like, but it’s about what initiative will light you up, turn you on and help you personally develop that isn’t driven by your boss or the organization. It’s just something that you take on yourself because it’s exciting and interesting for you.
Many people wait until someone gives them instruction, but I would suggest to you that leaders don’t wait. There is no one to give them instruction. They make up their own initiatives. They decide what they want to do next based on their interests and what totally turns them on.
So my advice for you is to really think about what you want to learn next. Where do you want to grow?
Sometimes, people don’t know the answer to that question, and that’s where a coach comes into play. We look at all your strengths to see what avenue you could pursue that would achieve the highest ROI. Does that make sense?
Steve Ash: Oh, it does. I’m just writing it all down!
Kim Ades: Oh, okay. An exercise that we ask our clients to do is to seek out feedback from the people in their personal and professional lives. They even ask their spouse, their kids, their family members and their friends, what am I amazing at? What’s my sweet spot? What do I do without any effort? What comes to me naturally?
Very often, our clients are shocked by their feedback because they didn’t know that others saw them in that light. They also didn’t realize that there was a pattern that showed up as a strength in a lot of different areas of their lives.
I did this exercise about 20 years ago. I remember asking the people in my life, what do you think I’m really strong at? My mother said, “You’re great at sales.” My father said, “You’re a good talker.” A friend of mine said, “You’re really great at rallying people and getting them to see a vision that you have.” Other people said, “You’re really great at communicating.”
What it boiled down to was that they thought I was able to express my emotions, stories, visions and ideas with ease. Before asking them, I didn’t know that about myself. I had no clue. It actually had a strong influence in leading me down the road to starting my own coaching company.
So you don’t know what you’re going to find when you’re really focused on your strengths.
Steve Ash: Yes. I’m interested and scared at the same time.
Kim Ades: Well, why are you scared? What’s scary about that? It’s kind of exciting from my point of view.
Steve Ash: If I found something out that I didn’t know about, then I’d put pressure on myself to pursue it. How can I easily apply my strengths? And what if what I’m strong at actually isn’t in alignment with where I want to go?
Kim Ades: Well, you’ll find that what you’re strong at is usually something you’re already doing. You may have not have noticed it before and you may not have designed your life around it. I rarely find that people are strong at things that clash with where they want to go. Usually, if you’re strong at something, you want to incorporate it more and more into your life. So you may notice a strength that seems to clash with your destination, but if you can incorporate it, your destination becomes much more fruitful.
Steve Ash: Yeah. You’re on a natural trajectory and then this could be the jet fuel to get you there faster.
Kim Ades: That’s exactly right. I love the way you just said that. So you want to incorporate your strengths into your destination because you want your journey to be a natural one; one that’s easy, fun, joyful and really inspiring to you.
When considering moving forward in our professional lives, it’s easy to list the things that may be holding us back. It’s common to blame external factors for our lack of movement.
But the truth is, the only one slowing you down is you.
Moving yourself out of your own way is not an easy job. It becomes a whole lot easier when you have a different set of eyes to help you challenge your self-imposed limitations and realize your strengths.
We would be an honored to guide you on your path to extraordinary success.
Start by scheduling a complimentary coaching call with us.