As the busy fall sports season rapidly approaches, and old local rivalries are revisited on sports fields across the region, I am reminded of a great lesson in business and career development. If you want to be among the best, you must consistently compete with and against the best.
If you’ve ever played a sport, then you are familiar with this concept. As an athlete, you have experienced the skill development that occurs when you consistently play against stronger opponents. You understand that when you are challenged to play your hardest, to play your best- you learn, adapt and grow quickly as an athlete. The same can be said of the business and career development of a young professional.
Finding ways to surround yourself with motivated and successful people and creating your own 360-degree approach to building that system of motivated and successful people, will help challenge you and enhance your career, driving you to achieve that next level of success.
One way to start on this path is to participate in mentoring relationships that will facilitate your development. Such relationships will help you by exposing you to past successes and failures of others. You’ve heard the saying, “Those who fail to remember the past, are sure to repeat it.” Learning from the mistakes and successes of others can save you both time and money in your career and business objectives.
The following suggestions will help you to form a 360-degree approach to building successful mentoring relationships:
1. Identify people at the “Next Level.” Start by finding people associated to business associations like the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the Buffalo Niagara 360 Program. Look for professionals that you respect in your current or future industry -someone you could emulate. Ask yourself, “Who do I respect and want to learn from?” Identify those “next-level” business professionals and learn from them how you can achieve their level of success.
2. Create a “Master Mind Group.” The concept of a “Master Mind Alliance” is a great approach to emulate. No one person has all the right answers, so surround yourself with other motivated young professionals who can help you achieve your goals. Be clear in your purpose and make sure the group is designed to benefit every member.
3. Give back, be a Mentor. Look for others to share with and you will learn more about yourself. Giving back to the community with your special talents, education and skills will help expose our communities’ youth to the myriad of careers across our region, while exposing them to your special leadership qualities and traits.
Become a better manager by mentoring other young managers. Practice your presentation skills by teaching others to develop and deliver better presentations. Pay it forward by getting involved and assisting other young professionals with achieving their goals.
Remember that talented individuals are all around you. Your company’s board members, senior management staffers and new hires all present abundant opportunities to develop a 360-degree network and can help you achieve your business and career goals.
The greatest athletes in the world are not created overnight. They are conditioned to earn their success over time, continually challenging themselves to be better and to do better and so can you. Take charge of your business and career goals and learn to reach higher with the help of others professionals like yourself.