If you think you’re ready, you’re probably not.

If you’ve ever worked for a company for any amount of time, you are aware of who is probably trying really hard to get promoted to the next level. That person might even be you.

The interesting truth, though, is that we might know this solely based on the fact this is all that person talks about. Not necessarily because they are actually ready to be promoted. What makes it interesting is that talking is generally not what gets one promoted to the next level. It’s doing. It’s action. So if you find most of your conversations are you complaining about why you haven’t been promoted yet, you probably aren’t actually doing anything.

Let’s be honest, most people probably assume they are farther along than they really are. This is generally due to a couple of things.

  1. Lack of Maturity. 
    When we are young, most of us can’t see past ourselves. We are the most capable of figuring it all out. There is no fear of failure, because we haven’t truly failed big yet (nor have we actually tried). We haven’t been put in our place after saying the very stupid thing we should have never allowed to escape our mouth (Donna, I am still sorry about that one thing I said about your son). We still think talking gets more done than doing. We are looking to point the fingers at the “wrong” things, rather than focusing on all the right and then offering new ideas to implement and further growth. Basically, we are immature and selfish. Hopefully, we are not still in this place after 25.
  2. Lack of Experience
    We might have matured now, but still haven’t been truly challenged or tasked with the “doing” part. We have learned about having a “filter” and can navigate political conversations, but outside of that, we are just smooth talkers.
  3. Lack of Perspective
    Ok, so maybe now you’ve figured out how to not upset a bunch of people verbally. You’ve gotten a few opportunities at proving yourself with some projects and have been able to accomplish a handful of great things. But you haven’t been fully able to articulate the “what needs to be done” with the “why.” Or perhaps even understand it for yourself (maybe you’re really self-motivated) but struggle articulating this to a team. This happens to be where a lot of people get stuck. Lack of seeing the bigger picture. This gap can cause an “us vs. them” mentality between a team and its leaders. The person on the team who can align with the vision of the leadership and simplify the message to their peers, helping to get them all on the same page, is invaluable.

You might even already be seen as a “leader” amongst your team. But if you are over-aligning with the team and not holding them to the standard necessary to achieve excellence that has been set by your leaders, you are more dangerous than an under-performer. Yes. I said that. You have the potential to steer an entire team in the wrong direction. All this creates is chaos and division, leading to low morale and people who hate going to their jobs. The place they invest most of their life. Nobody wins. Not leaders. Not team members.

Hear me out, nobody is asking you to become a mindless robot and do whatever your leadership says to do (or be the hard-ass rule follower that everyone else can’t stand to be around). If you want to get to the next level, you should be willing to do 2 things. First, be willing to seek clarity on messages or a vision you may not understand or even believe in (this shows humility and willingness to grow). Second, once you have clarity, be brave enough to share additional thoughts and ideas on what is necessary to achieve the goals of a particular vision.

Seeking clarity will give you the perspective necessary to help motivate others. Somebody who has a great perspective, great relationships and takes action is a person who others will want on their team. They pull out the best in themselves and others.

People who no longer assume they are “ready” have big failures behind their belt. Moments that have humbled them. These people who have experienced great failure, have also probably learned what it means to persevere. In turn, they find themselves continuously learning. It never stops.

“Ready” becomes a relative term because they are already doing.

So where are you? Still maturing? Still searching for experience? Seeking clarity to gain perspective? Which is preventing you from truly being ready?

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