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Sometime back, I had a discovery call with a prospective client
He is a senior MD in a tech company, a fairly successful leader, having risen through the ranks
While he has accomplished great professional success, he is now grappling with the question :
WHAT NEXT ?
What should be his next career move ?
And believe me, this is not uncommon with successful leaders....
After reaching a certain point, you sometimes do not know what you should look forward to
You have achieved professional success, you are well settled in life, you have created sufficient wealth….
Now what ??
Sometimes, it almost seems the end of the road for you, as far as professional growth is concerned
Your current work now seems monotonous and repetitive
And then you start questioning yourself – “How long can I continue doing this ?”
Most people believe that this is because of the nature of the job or the company
But the truth is….
This is because of YOU
How you think, operate and behave
One of the main reasons why this happens is because you get very comfortable where you are
You stop challenging and pushing yourself
But you know the biggest reason why you feel this way ?
The real reason why you might not have clarity of what is next ?
It is actually FEAR
Fear at two different levels
First, the fear of leaving something behind
Risking everything that you have worked so hard for over the years…..
This is especially true when your next move is something new, something you have not done before
The second level of fear is about making the big move
The next level of professional growth, the next promotion could seem to be a huge step up for you
It seems almost impossible, a very distant dream
Deep inside, you feel intimidated and a bit scared, even thinking about it
Like in case of this client, his next growth aspiration should be to become the CEO
However, he was not thinking on those lines at all
And when I challenged him on this, he gave me an excuse : “I do not think that is possible. There are many leaders in the company who are more senior than me”
He had created this story, this limiting belief to justify himself
But the fact was....
Aiming for a CEO role was scary for him
It would push and challenge him and make him stretch way beyond his comfort zone
It would also put a lot at risk from his point of view
Ironically, all through his career, he had actually outperformed more experienced people and grown
But now he was scared
And this fear of the next big move, the current feeling of comfort was also raising the question in his mind about what next
This is what happens with many successful leaders
You either get very comfortable
You get scared thinking about the next level and that fear pulls you down
Either way, you then end up questioning yourself – What next ?
So what should you do if you are in a similar situation :
1. Stay in the zone of possibilities. Do not get into thinking what is possible and what is not, because that limits your ability to think big
2. Ask yourself this question : What do I want to do next?
Seems to be a simple question, but think from a place of desire. What do you really want to do ?
3. Now go one level deeper with the same question. Imagine that you had all the resources with you (time, money etc ). Now answer this question : What do you really want to do ?
4. Finally ask yourself the next set of questions :
How can I make it happen ?
What do I need to do to make it happen ?
Note - It is not about whether it can happen or not. It is about - How can you make it happen ?
So go back and reflect on these questions and I would be interested to know what came up for you as you read this email
Stay safe and stay healthy