Monday, 6 April 2009

Self-leadership: A personal career story

Why your judgement of others doesn't matter. Why your judgement of yourself does.

In the exploration of career matters, are the above two sentences a breakthrough? Probably not. But for people everywhere - at any stage in their career - the two sentences above can describe a personal breakthrough moment that changes their future forever.

[Dolphin Emerging, "It's a bit out of focus but you can see him/her none the less. 3 of the swam right up next to the boat for several minutes but it was hard to predict when they would surface. Not having my SLR with me, I couldn't shoot as fast as I needed to catch them. I did get a few second on video though. I guess that doesn't help you guys. :-)" Saundra's own words]

I spent most of my career in an industry that judged others. We were taught that our judgement of other people had the most value (value to our clients, to our colleagues, to ourselves).

I learnt to analyse, assess and pick out personal & professional qualities in other people and I learnt that it was an important, essential work & life skill.

The growing difficulty for me was the raw material for our weights and measures wasn't steel or diamonds or bananas, it was people. Real people with careers, families, hopes and independent potential all of their own.

After a while, judging others became something that no longer felt right for me and so I explored moving my career in new directions. After a great deal of searching (which is another story) I now work in a profession where I am no longer called upon to judge other people for my clients. I am called upon to help other people refine their judgement of themselves. Something I am much happier doing.

Ordinarily, I would have found a case study to illustrate the point about judgement and self-leadership but I realised (reluctantly at first) that my own experience was the best example I knew. This is the first time I have 'shared story' (as my expert friend Rosa might say) on work/life fusion, a blog that was never intended to be about me.

In writing the above, I now realise that it was a mistake to have my own career experiences missing from this blog in that way. I was asking you (my dear reader) to share your experiences before doing the same myself!

Hopefully, the above puts that particular error behind me and offers apology at the same time. The above story is my personal story of self-leadership and it has taken almost all of my career to date to make this distinction for myself.

The distinction that the judgement we make on ourselves is the one that carries the most weight and the most potential in our careers.

If we learn more about this judgement - and keep improving our conclusions - we really do stand a chance of finding work with meaning, satisfaction, fulfilment and personal success!

I've done my bit for now, it's over to you! :)


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