If you rely on the Cinderella model for your professional development strategy, you will be disappointed. Chances are your fairy godmother will not find you. Because your skills and talent remain hidden within your organization’s departmental layers.
Does anyone really know who you are, what you do and why you contribute to your organization’s value stream?
As a result, you become increasingly exasperated. Why? You remain overlooked and underpromoted, while lesser-qualified colleagues rise in the organization.
Perhaps it is time to rethink your professional development strategy. Instead of relying on yesterday’s legacy processes, reinforced by status quo, siloed mindset, chart your own course.
After all, that quality is a leadership trait.
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The Cinderella model keeps you coloring inside someone else’s lines, within someone else’s idea of playing it linear, orderly and safe.
Think about it. Hierarchical organizational pecking orders often become barriers to professional development. The thinking goes something like this. If you wait around long enough, eventually, you are next in line for that promotion. Regardless of whether, or not, you are qualified. Years of service outweigh skills.
What does that complacent mindset have to do with leadership?
However, training hierarchies provide the true stepping stones for professional advancement. Are you taking advantage of growing your technical and professional acumen, on your own? Or do you wait around for your company to decide to take care of your educational needs? Then again, do you work for a company which does not recognize the value of an educated, engaged and self-motivated workforce?
That tactic reinforces professional incompetence. How does complacency move you forward? Ever?
You know you are stuck in your Cinderella model when you limit yourself to doing your job and making someone else’s idea of what your numbers should be.
Now you are on to something! If you feel stuck, then you have an opportunity to get yourself unstuck. Many folks spend far too much time rationalizing why they should remain good and stuck in the first place.
However, eventually, your frustration level boils up and can work for you, or against you. When you realize you are stuck, it is up to you to look for professional development options. Many people just look for an escape out, instead of a step forward. Which type of person are you?
Because, your idea of your next steps forward may differ from your boss’s recommendations for you. Or your organization’s options for you. So, if you settle for someone else’s options, you land right back in the same place, after a while.
Instead, when you take a solid look at targeting the type of profession, and work within that profession, which is fulfilling, you begin to chart your own course.
After all, that pathway is just what Cinderella chose to take. She evaluated all her options. Then, she rejected the status quo Cinderella model, which only would return her to the same-old role she always played.
Our Cinderella got good and tired of remaining hidden away from sight. Instead, Cinderella innovated herself outside of her own fairy tale. She didn’t play it safe, orderly, linear or complacent. Instead, she created her own options. And guess what happened next? What next steps will you chose? What are you waiting for?
Start moving one millimeter forward, today. Escape your Cinderella professional development model.
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Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™ serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Image source: iStock