7 Stages of a Career

Guest Blog Post by Hank Moore, 1/15/12

Hank Moore has advised 5,000+ client organizations in (including 100 of the Fortune 500, public sector agencies, small businesses and non-profit organizations). He has advised two U.S. Presidents and spoke at five Economic Summits. He advises companies about growth strategies, visioning, strategic planning, executive leadership development, Futurism and Big Picture issues which profoundly affect the business climate. He conducts company evaluations and Performance Reviews. He creates the big ideas, mentors the board members, reorganizes the corporate culture and anchors the enterprise to its next tier. The Business Treeā„¢ is his trademarked approach to growing, strengthening and evolving business, while mastering change.The Business Tree by Hank Moore

Version 1—Job — Worker, Bureaucrat

1. Working Hierarchy — Workers versus managers. Each knows their place. Little communication. Mentoring and professional development will not likely occur.
2. Self Interests — Personal rewards, pay, benefits, time off are their only focus.
3. Using the System — Maintain the status quo. Resist change.
4. Dependency Upon the System — Don’t wish to become management or advance beyond.
5. Don’t Rock the Boat. — Purge those who aspire. Surround with like minds.
6. Just a Job. — Never will be anything more. No need to grow professionally.
7. Stagnated Career — Blocked at some point. Never will advance any further.

Version 2—Career — Professional, Leader, Executive

1. Education-Growth — Acquiring a profession, knowledge base and perspective.
2. Evolution — Paying substantial dues. Thinking as a manager, not as a shift worker.
3. Experience Gathering — Taking time in early career to steadily blossom. Being mentored by others. Measure output as a profit center to the company.
4. Grooming — Commitment to training and professional development. Sharpening people skills. Contribute to the bottom line…directly and indirectly.
5. Seasoning — Continues paying dues. Realizes there are no quick fixes. Has sets of standards. Emphasis upon substance, rather than style.
6. Meaningful Contributions — Learns to expect, predict, understand and relish success.
7. Body of Work — Acquiring visionary perception, career durability for the longrun.

7 Plateaus of Professionalism

1. Learning and Growing. Develop resources, skills and talents.
2. Early Accomplishments. Learn what works and why. Incorporate your own successes into the organization’s portfolio of achievements.
3. Observe Lack of Professionalism in Others. Commit to sets of standards at role, job, responsibilities, relationships. Take stands against mediocrity, sloppiness, poor work and low quality. Learn about the culture and mission of organizations.
4. Commitment to Career. Learn what constitutes excellence, and pursue it for the longterm. Enjoy well earned successes, sharing techniques with others.
5. Seasoning. Refining career with several levels of achievement, honors, recognition. Learn about planning, tactics, organizational development, systems improvement. Active decision maker, able to take risks.
6. Mentor-Leader-Advocate-Motivator. Finely develop skills in every aspect of the organization, beyond the scope of professional training. Amplify upon philosophies of others. Mentoring, creating and leading have become the primary emphasis for your career.
7. Beyond the Level of Professional. Never stop paying dues, learning and growing professionally. Develop and share own philosophies. Longterm track record, unlike anything accomplished by any other individual…all contributing toward organizational philosophy, purpose, vision, quality of life, ethics, longterm growth.

7 Most Significant Things that Managers Aren’t Taught on Their Way Up

1. Know Where You Are Going. Develop, update and maintain a career growth document. Keep a diary of lessons learned but not soon forgotten. Learn the reasons for success and, more importantly, from failure.
2. Truth and Ethics. If you do not “walk the talk,” who will? Realize that very little of what happens to you in business is personal. Find common meeting grounds with colleagues. The only workable solution is a win-win (or as close to it as can be negotiated).
3. Professional Enrichment. Early formal education is but a starting point. Study trends in business, in your industry and, more importantly, in the industries of your customers. There is no professional who does not have one or more “customers.” The person who believes otherwise is not a real professional.
4. People Skills Mastery. There is no profession that does not have to educate others about what it does. The process of communicating must be developed. It is the only way to address conflicts, facilitate win-win solutions and further organizational goals.
5. Mentorship and Stewardship. We are products of those who believe in us. Find role models and set out to be one yourself. To get, you must give.
6. Going the Distance. Career and life are not a short stint. Do what it takes to run the decathalon. Set personal and professional goals, standards and accountability.
7. Standing for Something. Making money is not enough. You must do something worth leaving behind, mentoring to others and of recognizable substance. Your views of professionalism must be known.


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