“Pivot” by Jenny Blake

Basic meditation “Rising, Falling, Sitting”


What does success look like?

What are the current challenges?

What do we want to create or do next?

Career Operating Modes

Inactive. Does not seek change; paralyzed by fear, uncertainty, and self-doubt; covers up career or life dissatisfaction with unhealthy habits; feels and acts like a victim of circumstances. 

Reactive. Mimics others models for success without originality; follows instructions to the letter; waits for inspiration to strike; phones it in at work; feels unhappy, but does not inquire into why or what to do about it; let’s fear overrule planning for the future and subsequent action steps. 

Proactive. Seeks new projects; actively learns new skills; is open to change; improves existing programs; makes connections with others; takes a ownership even within existing leadership structures; has a giver mentality; willing and interested in helping others. May not be fully using innate talents, but is exploring what they are and how to amplify them. 

Innovative. In addition. To proactive mode qualities, fully taps into unique strengths; focuses on purpose-driven work and making meaningful contributions; is energized by a strong vision for new projects with a clear plan for making them happen; does not just improve existing structures, but creates new solutions to benefit others. 

If you have the skills and vision to get somewhere but no one is around to help line up opportunities or benefit from your expertise, can you really make the progress you desire?

Combinatorial innovation and curating


“If you don’t know what you want to do next and you are feeling stuck, do the work no one else wants to do. It may lead you to a surprising and rewarding answer about what you like, what you are good at, and where you can differentiate fo everyone else in your industry, especially in a cluttered field.”

“Making assumptions and then then taking them personally is the beginning of hell in this world.”

Pilots should be connected to:

Values: what is most important to you. 

Vision: what you are most excited about. 

Career Portfolio: marketable skills, past experiences, results, reputation; what is already working best. 

Finances: what has future income potential and long term viability. 

Network: mentors, friends, groups who can offer insight and support. 

Pause & Review

Enjoyment: Do i like doing it? Is it engaging? Am I excited to return to it?

Expertise: Am I good at it? Can I increase my skills? Am I excited to do so? Is this a natural extension of my strengths?

Expansion: Is there more opportunity to expand? Can I earn a living doing this?

Security vs Freedom

Money vs Time Flexibility 

Structure vs Adventure 

Failure is not: Uncertainty. Trying something new. Trying something that doesn’t work. Doing something imperfectly. Making the “wrong” decision. Getting rejected. 

You can either go emotionally broke running around trying to please everyone, or you can spend your time creating, being authentic to your own needs and desires, then serving others from that full place. 

Organizations do best with managers who see their role as supporting their direct reports stretching, trying new things, taking some risks, and letting go a little bit, allowing them to explore intriguing opportunities. 

Encourage people to be transparent about the way they want to grow within the organization. 

Do more listening than talking. Save your own advice and experience for the end of the conversation, when you will have a better sense of what would be most helpful to share. 

Ask open-ended questions. Instead of asking why, ask follow up questions such as what is important to you about that? What else? Tell me more. 

Focus most on the plant stage. Explore what values are most important to the individual, what their talents and interests are, and what success looks like one year from now, while also adding your observations about their key strengths and accomplishments. 

Remain exploratory during the conversation. The more you uncover what is working or what is exciting one year from now, without skipping ahead to problem solving or specific next steps, the more insight you will both have to scan effectively for potential solutions and pilots on later conversation. 

Conduct these sessions as walk-and-talks. 

Do not take notes. It takes away from eye contact and active listening. 

Do not combine them with you usual one-on-one meetings either. 

Do not worry about trying to solve an employees one-year vision in this conversation. Just get clear on what it is. 

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