Sunday, June 24, 2012


"You can expect what you inspect”. – W. Edwards Deming

Last week I wrote about focusing on what isn’t broken in your life and career and the importance of being positive and enjoying the values you have experienced and continue to experience.

‘But of course, I cannot be Pollyanna and assume that there are no things in your life and career that are not working – or broken – and need to be fixed. Not addressing these – at least the most important ones – can derail your desire and efforts to grow and succeed. So this week – let’s look under the hood again – but focus on fixing what is broken.

The start – identify what is broken or not working.

Could it be…?

You are not satisfied in what you do …

And this is negatively affecting your home life and/or relationship …

You don’t find the energy in  your job or career that you once had …

You have grown apart from your company …

You have grown apart from your industry …

Your industry is not growing …

Your industry is shrinking …

Your values have changed …

Your career or job does not align with your changed values  …

Your interest are changing …

You are not happy …

You feel you can do more …

You want to make more money …

You don’t need to make as much money (common in the later years when needs change) …

… and the list can go on.

So now it is time to be true to yourself. It is time to make a list of those things that you feel are broken in your life and/or career – because they are so intertwined.

And you need to be honest – blunt honest – and that may be painful. You may also need to get the feedback from a trusted advisory, spouse or significant others. They may see things that are broken in you that you do not see.

Many years ago, I was in one of my runs as a senior executive (had a few of these) of a company with about 1400 employees. I was 32 years old with huge responsibilities and responsible for a sales budget of $35 million annually. I was making gobs of money and I was put on the pedestal in the company.

But something was wrong and I really didn’t see it. But my wife Vikki did. She saw the changes and the yearnings to be in a different place. I didn’t. I just knew that despite the money and the stature, I was not happy. That is when I embarked on my own business, with a young son, mortgage and more – I struck out on my own, and I may not have done it if it wasn’t for the wise counsel of my wife. This is why it is important to engage others in this analysis.

Let’s create the Do List – Things to Fix

It’s like having the “honey do” list for around the house – those things that are broken and need to be fixed.

Please take out a piece of paper  and put at the top:

My Do List: What is Broken

Then, in no rank or priority, start writing down what you or others see as broken in your career and/or life that you can control and change.

Writing down that The Economy Sucks won’t have any value to you and will be a wasted thought. You can’t singlehandedly change it unless you aspire to the Oval Office – and then I still wonder! Writing down Start the day with a positive thought – now that is actionable and in your control. Get the idea?

Keep going until you have to think for more than 3 minutes to come up with the next item. If it talks you longer than 3 minutes, it likely isn’t critical

Okay – you there and ready?

Now like any coach would recommend, you need to prioritize the list by a very simple ranking system: A-B-C:

A: Must be fixed as it is something that without resolve will not allow me to move forward. Examples of this would be health, impending financial disruption in life, broken relationship, addiction, etc.

B: Critical but not inhibiting you from moving forward. Important however to achieve your plan. Examples of this would be dissolving industry, poor relationship with your current management, poor or marginal performance in your own business, pressure at home, pressure from others you respect, etc.

C: Important but not critical. This would include things such as need to update resume, improve networking if you have not been networking, commute, salary issues (unless you are facing an A – financial disruption), etc. They are important, but they can wait until the other broken issues are resolved.

So, at this point you have your list written down and prioritized. Now, prioritize each issue you prioritized as an A (n Must be fixed) numerically with 1 being the most critical and important and going down from there: 2, 3, 4 5, etc.

You have now identified the top three or more critical issues to fix as part of this journey. Focus on the issues in rank order, finish the A’s and then on to the B’s and C’s. Keep your list up to date, keep it in view always. Share it with those close to you.

It is not rocket science – it is just the basics – I am hoping you are learning this. And thank you for reading this. - Dan

Dan Moran
President & Founder
Career Management & Transition Specialists
Celebrating 24 years providing career management services in 2012!
125 Wolf Road, Suite #128
Albany, NY 12205
Office: 518-261-4212
Cell: 518-641-8968
eFax: 586-279-4212

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