The release of my first book brought back so many memories and events that lead me to where I am today. One story I remember is…
Many thoughts were rolling through my head as I was sitting in a company’s corporate headquarters just outside the head of sales’ office.
This was show time. I was speaking about a very high position in the company—one that most people in my role would be envious to even have the conversation. I had been through a lot—finishing an advanced degree, starting a family and going through a divorce, moving all over the country to keep my career afloat, and walking away from the coaching profession—a job I was good at
One I was very good at to take on the challenge of corporate america. You can say and critique me all day long but one thing no one can ever talk about is the amount of success I’ve had throughout my life in the roles I’ve chosen to ride. I never let performance slide… a lot of other things I didn’t do so well but getting a job done with exceptional results wasn’t one them. If I was compared to pitching it would be a one hitter…almost perfect.So why wasn’t I all fired up about this conversation. My mind ran through my career and while this was a financially rewarding position, I didn’t know if it was for me. I mean… I’m a coach, a street player, a leader who like to be in the thick of things. Being too far removed from the people that make it happen is not where I wanted to play the game.So I got called in and sat in front of a large desk, a conversation ensued about my career, likes and dislikes and the question came up” Why do you want to be a Divisional Vice President?” Long pause… thought for a moment and then another and said” I don’t know that i want to be one. To be honest I thought I did and feel I’m a great fit, my true joy comes from working and developing those people who get it done everyday” the field and those who lead them.”End of discussion, a new exciting beginning in my career just like that… I went back to my role, was given a stretch assignment to role out a coaching model for the company world wide, became an expert sales coach and never looked back. Today I run emerging leader and new leader programs for the company. Its where “Off the Bench” took a firm hold.
Self reflection and analysis are essential parts of finding out who you are. Trial and error are also keys to understanding what you might become. I didn’t know at the time as I ran after upward mobility and the next promotion in Corporate America. Heck, I’ve been running after that my whole life and have lived a nomad’s life … move after move. A good no a great career and still enjoying the journey.
I planted my feet and it turned out I end up doing what I love. Believe me there are so many people who don’t get up every day and enjoy their work, who look too far ahead to have fun in their career, who sell out and have a hard time looking their kids in the eye at night for who they’ve become. I have none of that. I’m not perfect by any means and I make my mistakes like everyone else. But I love what I do and it’s just a seamless part of who I am.
How do I feel about my role? It’s listed on my LinkedIn page and reads something like this: “I love getting up in the morning and going to work. My company aspires to make every client and associate count. I have had the unique pleasure to work and succeed in multiple business units and gain global experience. My company supported and fulfilled many of my goals both professionally and personally. The opportunities to develop and succeed are endless.”
So what is Off the Bench Leading? That’s what we will develop for you.
A summary of essential elements for Off the Bench Leading can be summarized below (taken from chapter 14 of my book Off the Bench Leadership, released November 1, 2014 by BroadStreet Publishing):
O – Own your destiny
F – Find the best people
F – Focus on development
T – Thank and recognize everyone
H – Have a plan
E – Execute at the highest level
B – Be your best self
E – Enjoy the journey
N – Never settle
C – Call the plays
H – Highlight and review
Let’s connect and develop the better-than-your-best-self leader in you. Let’s get “Off the Bench.”
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