I was consulting with a client recently about his work and the changes he’d like to implement in his healthcare services business.  He’s facing two changes:

  • shifting from being a professional to being a manager & leader — instead of doing his hands-on care and sometimes checking in with others, the change would move him to mostly be managing and leading
  • shifting from a “small business” to a “scalable business” model — instead of each site being completely unique, the change will require a consistent brand

Big stuff!!  Tough. Doable – but only if one is really serious about that shift.  So I wanted to know if this change was a match with his own vision of himself, and asked:

What do you want your job to be?

I suspect that many, many people find themselves in leadership positions without having really CHOSEN that.  This seems especially true in professional services – the doctor who finds herself leading an office; the investor who finds himself managing a team; the educator who finds himself leading an organization…

So before you get “further” in your career, it’s worth considering — what do you want your job to be?  What do you want to do more and less of?  If you “take that next step” in your work, will you still be doing the parts of the work that you love?

stampsI travel a lot, and many countries have a space on their customs form for job.  I’m never quite sure what to put there.  It’s a little space, and I want to write something that’s not too confusing… EQ advocate?  Leader?  Teacher?  Author?  Consultant?  Trainer?  Executive?

Apparently I have some conflict and confusion about the changes in my own role!

While I WANTED our organization to grow, and pushed that, while I WANTED to do more leading and less doing, while I WANTED to build a team — I still sometimes regret how complex my job has become, and feel inadequate because I don’t really know how to do it.

Like so many of our clients, I’ve “evolved” into this role rather than being chosen for it, and a large part of what I love(d) about my own work is the “professional” hands on work, rather than the managing.

This reminds me about the work of Joy Palmer, one of our Network Members who primarily works with finance executives on this change.  She’s written about the process in The Rise of the Player Manager.

For myself, I’m someone who thrives on challenge and learning-by-doing… so it’s a great place to be… and I recognize that I only do my best when I pay close attention — I’ve chosen to be a leader.  Maybe that’s going on the next customs form!

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Joshua Freedman

Joshua is one of the world’s preeminent experts on developing emotional intelligence to create positive change. With warmth and authenticity, he translates leading-edge science into practical, applicable terms that improve the quality of relationships to unlock enduring success. Joshua leads the world’s largest network of emotional intelligence practitioners and researchers.
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