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Monday, February 28, 2005


The Reflective Commute Part Two: Confidence with Clarity

I knew there was a part two to this, it just took a couple of days to get it out...

I found the Fast Talk of the March 2005 issue of Fast Company to be particularly fascinating. Since this is Oscar month, they profiled folks who work in the business of moviemaking. While everyone appreciates the creativity of the actors, set designers, costume designers, etc., the folks who really work behind the scenes demonstrate their own sense of artistry. There's something very interesting to me about working within the film industry; I can relate with the individuals they profiled and their persistence to make things happen. To me, they offer reminders of how necessary it is to have a strong sense of faith and commitment to your vision, confidence in your abilities and intuition, and a very thick skin for rejection.

I liked what Meredith Finn, the Director of Acquisitions and Production for Fine Line Features/ New Line Cinema said:
In my work, it's so important to remain confident in my own ability. I didn't go to film school, I didn't know I was going to work in film, but I've always been very opinionated and passionate. It's other people's role to question my opinion; they wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't doubt me on some level.
It's easy to get frustrated and angry when others doubt our opinion and question our abilities (perhaps even more when we're in the middle of a career transition). But, that can only help us make stronger cases for ourselves. It can set us on fire to improve not only what we do, but be more clear about who we are.

The Clear Leader is the title of the article by Marcus Buckingham who has an intriguing book coming out called The One Thing You Need to Know...About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success (why do business books have such long titles?) Based on the content of the article, I gather that the argument he makes is that great leaders know a thing or two about clarity. One idea that really struck me was this:
Somehow, many leaders think their job is to analyze the world's reality and complexity and reflect it back to their people. Not true. As a leader, your job is to make people more confident about the future you're dragging them into. To that end, you need to tell them why they're going to win.
It reminded me of something I've been thinking about when it comes to interviewing. A good interview is really a conversation rather than an interrogation (though I have been in ones where the hiring manager never realized the difference). Just as the hiring manager is trying to determine whether we are a fit for their organization, it's important for us transitioners to consider what we represent to them. We are the future and we bring something new to their culture. We need to help them feel confident about the future and clearly define why together we can succeed.

Categories: c.Careers; c.Leadership; c.Management; c.Organizations

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