Let’s face it we live in a world of comparison. We compare the kind of car that we drive, where we live, type of career we have, etc. We try not do it, but it is one of those judgments that we pass before we even realize it. It becomes especially challenging in your career as you compare yourself against others in your workplace. You look at your peers or management to try to figure out what they are doing and what you need to do to get ahead.
There may be a lot of politics involved, influencing and the never ending effort to be seen as a rock star. In some cases, being seen in the right way and doing the right things can become a full time job all by itself. The longer you are in one environment, the more it starts to distort your view of how you are really doing. You follow the “rules” for your company on what it takes to move up the ladder, you build the relationships, you believe the feedback you are getting and react accordingly. You continue to move forward just trying to get whatever “carrot” you are after….promotion, bonus, raise, better project visibility, etc.
Have you ever stopped to consider what if the feedback you are being given is wrong? This isn’t something that most people in this position even consider. They don’t gain this perspective until they leave that situation. Changing the situation provides clarity as to what you really know and can accomplish. There is a natural doubt that occurs when you have to change to another company because you had success before and want to ensure you have it again. Do you have what it takes to succeed there? What is so interesting is that the doubt is usually just in your head. You are already a rockstar, but you need to believe it. When you leave those situations you will go into the next one and have amazing success. You aren’t doing anything different than you did before, but the companies that you are working for see you as a rockstar!
Some of these companies may have been behind in technology, processes, etc in comparison to where you came from previously, but it allows you to implement change quickly and forge a new path in your leadership. It eliminates the doubts that may have existed and creates a strong confident leader. The lesson here is that some comparison can be a good thing.
Picking your head up and looking at where you stand not only in your own company, but outside of it helps you gain perspective on your leadership. It helps you see that you are adding value, that you can do more than you may have given yourself credit for and it helps you believe in yourself. You can have different conversations when you believe in your leadership and have confidence. You are choosing the path that you want to go in vs someone else doing that for you. This is very empowering and creates a whole different perspective for you. Although some people are hesitant to make these kind of changes, they can be very valuable. The risk can be worth the reward to grow your leadership in ways that you didn’t think was possible.