Having worked with thousands of people throughout my career, it is clear that people have the hardest time being honest with themselves, about themselves. But this is one case where honesty is the best policy. As an employee of a company, your future depends on the quality, depth and breadth of skills you bring to the table. You can lie to yourself all you want, ultimately your true colors will come through and you will be judged.
Every 6 months, I take some time to myself and think about where I am, where I thought I would be and decide where I want to go (short, medium and long term). Once I get this foundational thinking out of the way, I then ask myself a couple of important questions:
- What skills do I need to reach my goals (short, medium and long term)?
- What skills do I master (aka that I am really good at)?
- What areas do I need to improve?
I ask these same questions to execs when helping them craft their strategic plans. When related to a company, these become the:
- To be model
- AS IS model
- Gap analysis
These may seem like simple questions but answering them honestly will provide a rare glimpse into the real you. Take the time to ask these important questions. Make sure you answer truthfully and completely. Then commit to implementing a plan to improve the areas you identify with the third question.
During one of these introspection sessions many years ago, I realized I had strong business skills but I didn’t have the paper needed to open the doors I wanted to walk through. That realization convinced me I needed to get my MBA and started my 5 year journey (studying while working full time). Year later [after completing it], I know it was the right move. Had I not taken the time to really think and strategize, I may have never taken the plunge.
Be the best person you can be.