Career Management 101: Know Thyself

I came across a very interesting tweet earlier this month:

JenKuhnPR: Curious: Then how do most football coaches do it? RT @Billy_Cox: You can't lead anyone else further than U have gone yourself. -G Mauch

It definitely gave me pause as I thought about the quote and the resulting question. After all, there are many coaches who have inspired their teams to a success that reaches beyond what they themselves may have experienced when they played the sport.

But think about this: what are the results going to be if you have a person who was a stellar athlete in his/her day, but is only mediocre as a coach? You’re going to get a mediocre team. Why? Because that’s all the further that person has gone in his/her profession as a coach. The success of the coach in leading the team is based on his/her ability in the current job, not on a job done long ago.

During the life cycle of your career, you should be cognizant of where your talents lie.  Doing and teaching/coaching generally require very different skills sets (except for the education profession, of course).  Just because you can’t do a particular job doesn’t mean you can’t teach others to do it well.  And the converse is also true — just because you were at the top of your game in one field doesn’t mean you will be a fabulous coach.

Whether you were good or bad at doing something in a specific field, don’t make assumptions about how you would perform when advising someone else how to do it. You could either be setting yourself up for failure, or you could be cutting yourself off from an opportunity that could lead to your biggest success yet.

How well do you know yourself and your talents?

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