You're Fired!

Want an interesting summer mini-project guaranteed to impact your career?

For a moment, put down that mojito, shut down the barbie grill, and imagine that Donald Trump just gave you the "You're Fired"! line.

Now ask yourself, "WHY did I get fired?" Hmmmm. Don't reach for that mojito again, instead, reach for a really accurate and soul-searching appraisal.

Fire Yourself
A very savvy executive, Luanne Tierney VP of Cisco's WW Channels Marketing, goes through this "firing yourself" process to fine-tune her leadership skills. Tierney believes, "the exercise of firing yourself can be a great eye opening experience that helps pinpoint your strengths, as well as your weaknesses. The result is a blueprint of your leadership traits showing you where you should focus your efforts to further develop your skills."

A Fair Self- Appraisal
Taking Luanne's lead, what weaknesses would get you fired? Give an objective and even brutal appraisal of where you do NOT hit the mark:
  • What traits hold you back from greatness?
  • Where are you weakest in interpersonal relationships with colleagues?
  • What projects did you NOT complete on time as promised...why?
  • What communication patterns are NOT strategic or leader-like?
OK, now prioritize. Which needs to be remedied asap? Put a plan in place to eliminate each trait that got you fired.

You're Hired!
Now flip the question: why would someone hire you? What traits qualify you to be a CEO? Don't rest on your laurels. There's some work here as well. These strengths also need a plan: what can you do to extend and build-on these positive traits? One positive trait per month, strengthened and amplified. Sweet.

This is a great summer exercise and one that highly effective leaders might consider as a quarterly career tune-up.

OK, I know you're all dying to get back to the barbie...you can pick up that mojito now, but in between sips, remember to keep your leadership brand on the front burner!