- It's well-known in companies that some significant percentage of people are in the wrong jobs. You probably have in life sometime, when you're stuck in the wrong place. And the person is stuck. And here is a question. Should I move on, or should I stay longer? How do you decide that? So here I want to suggest to you three criteria. The first one, and that first one requires you to be very honest with yourself.
Have I stopped growing? In the last year, did I pick up some skill? Am I being planted to pick new skills? You're in charge. If this is the case, time has come to move on. Second criteria, you have a boss, doesn't give you feedback, does not seem to care, and your relationship is not good. Time has come to move on.
And number three, you may have difficulty finding it, but you need to be aware of it. In many companies, the top has begun to decline. As a result, they keep cutting costs, cutting costs, cutting costs. And the company's market value, company's reputation, company's brand begin to decline. In a declining company that does not show turnaround, it's not a great place for you to be in.
Move on. Now there comes a time when you could be fickle. Things aren't good or things are not improving, but you're learning, but you're not wrestling with your own difficulties with your environment, with your team, with your boss. There you got to say, I am learning, I'm getting the skills, I'm frustrated. Is it because of the boss, is it because of a lack of my skill? I don't know how many times I've heard before, my boss was tough, tougher than hell, and I had very difficult times, but I would still go back and work for him because I learned a lot from him.
The juice for personal growth is feedback, feedback in a context, feedback that's constructive. Feedback is not 5,000 sentences. I will give you an example. Feedback usually is less than 15 words. It's on time, it's in the context, it is right there and then, that the person is able to pick up. Search for such qualitative feedback, something you can relate to, something and connect with, in which this feedback came.
Your ego must be aside. High-potential people are more focused on growth than the ego. So, one day I was in Shanghai, at St. Regis hotel, and I had to go there to present to the executive committee of a very large American company. In this presentation, I'd finished my presentation, and then the president of China for this company, of their subsidiary, who was an American called Charlie, Charlie made a fabulous presentation.
I thought it was great. I'm watching the executive committee, their faces are smiling. I watched the CEO sitting next to me, and they gave a very good applause. When it got finished, the CEO and I and this presenter, Charlie, walking together. CEO's in the middle, I'm on the right, Charlie on the left. CEO puts his arms around Charlie, and says, "Charlie, that was a great presentation. "If you had done this thing differently, that is, "your forecast, in a different way, "your conclusions would be different." Charlie will never forget it.
I'm not giving you the detail, exactly what it was, but the whole feedback was less than 15 words. Pointed, precise, useful. You practice yourself to do this. Seek for those. And finally, to be a great potential leader, you must have honesty. Not just integrity but intellectual honesty. You have to see the reality. And you got to see that you're honest about yourself.
To be honest, have some people who will tell you the truth. They will be your sounding boards. They will get you to see in the mirror. Most high-potentials go off the rails for one reason. Their ego, and they don't listen.