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Everything you were taught about career paths was wrong

Get your hands dirty

Doing the unexpected feeds the idea that you understand what real work looks like, creates a healthy culture, and established your role as a leader.

Taking on tasks and responsibilities that are "below your pay grade" builds trust and goodwill with your teams. It also squashes the ego.

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The key to growth

Divergent and dissident people are the key to growth and innovation. However, some leaders demonize the people who raise a problem instead of solving the problem that is raised.

They ...

Notice the problem

Disruption, change, or growth is often the cause for the issues becoming uncomfortable.

Ask if management/key status reports explicitly name open issues that could significantly affect the future of the business?

Remind yourself that as uncomfortable as it is, when you no longer have answers, you get to start building what comes next.

Define the processes

Define the processes to work on gaps to solve difficult problems all the time. The fast market dynamic requires constant learners, adapting and growing and trying new things.

  • Is there an ongoing mechanism to address far-reaching issues?
  • Can difficult topics be raised?
  • Is it a regular process? 

Study what percent of your time is spent working on bigger critical issues that seem unsolvable.

Getting Negative Feedback
Getting Negative Feedback

... is not the best thing to happen at work. It normally leads to a racing mind, emotional discomfort and increased blood pressure.

We may try to defend ourselves, or brush aside the feedba...

It’s Not Personal

Unless it is completely uncalled for, negative feedback generally has the intention of informing us about our areas of improvement. If feedback isn’t provided, you may not grow and improve. If no one tells you that you are doing something wrong, you will keep doing it wrongly forever.

Providing timely feedback may be a sign that the manager cares and wants you to improve.

Don’t Shoot The Messenger

One should not be defensive when provided with negative feedback, and understand that it is for our own good.

One needs to act on the feedback by approaching it from a neutral and objective standpoint, not taking it as a personal attack. Instead of reacting, just pause and listen. Reflect on the feedback, giving yourself some time and space to respond with a level head.

Vulnerability and confirmation bias
Vulnerability and confirmation bias

Vulnerability challenges your confirmation bias.

It is uncomfortable to ask questions, express your opinion, or open up about your emotions with people. You expose yourself to their cr...

Breaking out of your comfort zone

Breaking out of your comfort zone makes you feel vulnerable, but that feeling works in your favor because it improves your performance and boosts your growth. A  constant state of comfort equals steady performance.

Too much anxiety, however, will make you too stressed to be productive. 

Set realistic goals to hedge your anxiety

In most cases, once you do something scary, you realize it’s not as bad as you thought—it was just the anticipation that frightened you more than anything.

Setting a goal can help you get past that anticipation and feel in control of your vulnerability.