Blog Archive

Monday, June 23, 2014

If you don't Own Your Future... Who Will?

By Ken Bansemer
National Talent Acquisition & Talent Management Leader
Denver, CO

When presenting to an audience, one of the best ways to capture attention and help others retain information is to tell stories. Using a single image that your audience can relate to, and then weave a good tale around it can help you avoid “death by PowerPoint.”  

I was fortunate to be able to speak to a group of students recently, and share through stories, some guiding principles around Owning Your Future and career success. The stated agenda for my time with the group was as follows:

· Kindergarten
· School Buses
· Sports
· Beer
· Facebook
· Risk and The Game of Life

Since nearly everyone can relate to one or more of these topics – we were off and running! While the stories were fun to share and allowed for audience engagement, they don’t translate as well in a written format. However, the principles for Owning Your Future are what I hope the group retained and will be able to apply as they begin their careers.

· Basics go a long way – remember what you learned in kindergarten. Treat others with respect. Say hello, please, thank you. Ask how their day or weekend was. Be prompt. Be responsive. Have a positive attitude. And live by your core values – don’t change who you are for the sake of your organization. When you think about sending of your child for their first day of school, what attributes do you want your child to display? Chances are you already know – you learned it years ago when you went to kindergarten. 

· Back of the bus principle – find ways to be seen and to direct your own career, rather than being driven around by others, possibly in the wrong direction. At the front of the bus you can see what’s coming and discuss where you are going. At the back of the bus, you only see what’s passed you by, and more often than not will find yourself saying “what did I miss?”

· Become the crowd favorite - Bring your unique skills, characteristics and personality to work each day – be the genuine you that makes you the right person to go to in a crunch. Like a player coming off the bench for a sports team, a bit of hustle, an inquisitive nature, a yes attitude, being open to feedback, and a willingness to pitch in when needed to help your team succeed will go a long way to becoming the crowd favorite.

· Work for the high moments – Very few people can remember what they have done on specific days of a given month or year. But they do remember key moments that produced an outstanding outcome. While navigating a long career, where energy and focus can peak and wane, you aren’t always going to like what you do. Rather than react in the moment and make snap decisions, keep your eye on the long term, because a special moment may be just around the corner. In the meantime, draw upon past experiences to carry you through until that time. Those moments become the stories you will tell others. 

· Put yourself in the game – to have a successful career, you have to rely on good preparation and a bit of luck. This means taking appropriate Risks that will put you in control of your destiny. And if you intend to win in the Game of Life, you have to play the game hard and play it well. You may have detours and setbacks, and you may not always succeed, but at least you know you tried by putting yourself in the game to begin with.

 In the end, you need to Own Your Future. If you don’t, who will?

No comments: