6 essentials for taking the helm as CEO of your career


Perhaps you aspire to the corner office, or you want to develop leadership skills that will help advance your career. You can begin to learn what it takes to be CEO by becoming CEO of your own career.

As CEO, here are six responsibilities you must oversee as you lead the enterprise (the business of advancing your career).

1. Focus on your brand.

Yes, you have a brand, whether you realize it or not. To manage your brand, consider the following questions:

  • What is it that you could do better than anyone else on the planet? (That’s borrowed and paraphrased from Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great.”)
  • What is your purpose?
  • What are you values?
  • What gift do you provide to your colleagues? (That is, how do you help them achieve their goals?)

As CEO, you will want to understand these elements of your brand and focus your look, your message and your actions to reinforce them.

2. Determine your goals.

Good CEOs don’t operate with a vague set of goals hoping for opportunity to knock. They know that the right opportunities are more likely to appear when you’re pursuing defined goals.

To explore your goals, complete this statement: “It would be great if (what)…”

Then ask, “What else would be great?”

Try to generate 10 to 20 potential goal statements. Think big. Then for each statement ask, “Why would that be great?”

In reviewing your answers, you’ll see all your aspirations and the reasons why you want to achieve them. Pick the three to five most-compelling statements as your primary goals; then, determine what success looks like and how you will measure your progress.

3. Recruit a board of directors.

Whom will hold you accountable for achieving your goals? Who might help you solve problems and open doors? Who will provide needed encouragement?

Your board of directors might include a spouse, significant other or family members. It might be made up of industry experts and professionals from other fields. You might enlist a mentor or group of colleagues.

Meet with your board regularly to report progress, celebrate successes and work to overcome new obstacles that might have appeared since you last met.

4. Develop your strategies.

Take a look at your primary goals and ask, “What’s stopping me from achieving these things?” Now answer this question in the form of a question. For example, if your ability to reach a goal depends on your presentation skills and you are a frightened presenter, ask, “How can I become a better presenter?”

Then ask that same question in as many ways as possible: “How can I learn how to present?” “How can I get practice presenting?” “How can I get over my fear of presenting?” etc.

As you generate these problem queries, ideas for solving them begin to bubble up. Pick the most important statements to address, and consider them your strategies for achieving each goal. Then generate the ideas to solve those problem queries.

5. Hold yourself accountable.

Take all your ideas and assign a near-term, midterm or long-term date for each. Share this action plan with your board of directors so they can support your progress.

6. Keep your eyes on the prize.

As CEO, you must focus on changing conditions, as they could affect your long-term goals. Work with your board of directors to adapt short-term tactics to overcome new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities as they come.

As the CEO of your own career, you will gain invaluable leadership experience. Along the way, you will become more proactive in your personal advancement.

For those who are already career CEOs, you might want to encourage others in your organization to go through this exercise. This type of career development leads to a deeper engagement, which ultimately only makes your business stronger.

Dan Greenberger is a facilitator/trainer who helps organizations innovate and grow by applying creative principles to strategy, branding and other business activities. You can contact him at dan@gpscreative.com. He blogs at www.gpscreative.com.

Yosef Meged is a business and personal coach working with individuals, families and businesses. Meged lives in the United States and Israel. You can reach him at yosefmeged18@gmail.com. He blogs at yosefmeged.wordpress.com.

A version of this article first appeared on SmartBlog on Leadership.


The LinkedIn Guide To Starting Your Freelance Writing Career


In order to improve your writing career, you should remember one of your strongest assets and opportunities is your online brand as a freelancer, especially on your LinkedIn profile, which now allows you to write and feature your original work.

The overall look and feel of your LinkedIn can either help you to attract new clients or, on the contrary, play a negative role and dissuade clients from working with you. Because of this, you need to take valuable strides towards a positive and leading image of your work.

When starting your freelance writing career…

you need to make sure that you fully understand what you want to deliver to your target audience. Thus, you must decide which writing services you are willing to offer, and assess your opportunities with this in mind. The most important thing you can do when promoting your personal brand as a freelance writer is to be interested in and passionate about what you are going to do for your clients. That passion will shine through, and individuals will be excited to have you as part of their team, even if it is just temporary.

The design of your LinkedIn profile…

comes into play every time someone visits your page, so it should be sophisticated, clean, easy to read, and not look like a spam account. The primary goal of any potential project is to welcome new customers and visitors with the best of your work. For example, perhaps you worked at a globally recognized corporation, but recently pivoted your career. That experience might not be relevant, and if it is, make sure you write out why it helped you for what you do now.

Conduct research on what others are doing, because..

competition is a good thing. It encourages you to work harder, smarter, and faster within the industry. You shouldn’t be intimidated to join a popular freelancing website or promote your services on your LinkedIn page, where millions of others are doing the exact same thing. It’s important to learn from other individuals who are successful. Take things you like from one person, avoid things you don’t like from someone else, and over time your LinkedIn page and personal brand will be crafted just the way you like, and how customers like too. You can join professional networking groups on LinkedIn to discover these people, as well as help you stay up-to-date in the freelance writing niche. Also, these companies hire freelance writers via LinkedIn:

Before revamping your LinkedIn profile, you should conduct research into the target market you’re looking to enter, or get more work in. You can do most of this research in LinkedIn, and there are even some professional communities to keep yourself updated, and possibly help you find your next gig:

Maintaining a terrific LinkedIn profile is crucial to find and secure new freelance writing opportunities. If you have the skills, a business has the needs, and you are smart about finding each other, and identifying the best way to work, you will be on you way to new customers and reaching higher levels of success in your career.

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