Posted On: March 16, 2011
When an operations executive or human resources professional looks at your background, one of the critical elements they seek is evidence of a steadily progressive career.
What does that mean?
Hiring the up-and-coming superstar is tempting. Surely, such a rapid rise is a sign of extraordinary skills and creative thinking, right?
Does the candidate have the seasoning or character to properly handle a problem or crisis while maintaining the confidence of the restaurant staff? Is there any indication that he or she can read the warning signs of such a crisis and take steps to avert the problem before it even develops?
Ambition can be a curse if you do not gain wisdom along the way, and there is still no substitute for experience.
Leadership positions are earned and, especially in hospitality world, you lead through people. Employees will obey rules and a “boss” for a period of time, because they have to or they get fired. Loyal team players in a solid culture will follow wise leadership, rain or shine, without being asked twice.
Wikipedia defines wisdom as a deep understanding and realizing of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to choose or act to consistently produce the optimum results with a minimum of time and energy. Wisdom, like respect, is earned over time. Time spent listening and learning. Time spent refining and practicing. I’m sorry, hospitality world, but wisdom is seldom built in two-and-a-half-year chunks.
Here are a few tips to help you evaluate your career decisions so that you build a progressive career of longevity, and become a wise leader:
- When the going gets tough, be the one who works harder, maintains a positive attitude and provides solutions
- Remember there is no elevator to success
- Know your long-term career goal
- Study your career path and find a mentor who has achieved success
- Become an expert at your position before moving up a rung on the ladder
- Only make career moves (internally or externally) if they are in line with the trajectory of your career
- Resist the temptation to make career decisions based on emotion, think them through
- Stay current throughout your career through continued education, professional certification, and leadership in trade organizations
- Read How to Win Friends & Influence People once every year
- Delight in the accomplishments of others, and help your subordinates and peers achieve success
- Be an encourager not a downer, and never a gossip
- Establish and maintain healthy boundaries between your professional and personal lives
So many good people are motivated by fears of their work going unrecognized or getting passed over for a promotion that their ego takes over. Ego most often gets in the way of achieving success through people. One of the wisest men in history wrote “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” Isn’t that the truth?