Your Career is a Company

You are the Chairman & CEO

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Mike Steib once told me that I am the CEO of my own career. It’s a concept that I revisit fairly often, especially when I am in the process of taking on a new role or switching companies.

The most profound aspect of the metaphor, for me, is when you extend it and realize that your career also has a board. Your board guides you, has a vested interest in your success, and will be honest with you. They are the people you consult, either implicitly or explicitly, before making any big change. They know your goals, aspirations and ambitions. But they also know where you need to grow and what steps you should take.

Super lame but also kind of provocative stock image about decision making

Some people get an automatic board seat — your spouse , parent or sibling. Sometimes they will have explicit guidance, but they will always have an implicit impact on the decision you make. In other words, you think to yourself: How would they vote on this decision? They know me best and will be impacted by what I do…let’s make sure I get it right for them.

Then there are the people that you elect to your board — old managers, leaders you respect, peers and your friend from college. They might not know that they have Voting Shares in your company, but you wouldn’t make a big decision without them. They are the people that make extra time in their week for a late night phone call about your growth and trajectory.

At the end of the day, you are the chairman and CEO. The decision is yours, but be sure you get good input from people that have thought through it before and know you well.

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