My roundtables at the CFO Core Concerns conference on Tuesday morning were on the importance of attaining world class positioning. My first table was full. My second table was overflowing.
I’m delighted to see that Finance Executives are attuned to the paradigm shift of career management. Who wants to be a hunter when you can be hunted? But it takes world class positioning, and they are beginning to understand that premise.
A lack of positioning is a bit like the cliche “if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?” If you are the greatest thing since sliced bread but no one knows about the great contributions you’ve made, does it matter?
Here are a few of the things we discussed:
— Begin by creating a plan and working your plan. Another old, but appropriate, adage … “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Run your career like you run your business and you’ll never be caught unprepared or ill-prepared.
— Understand your positioning. What are your strengths, skills, and passions and how have they contributed to your success? What do you love doing and want to do more of? If you have to work, shouldn’t you at least be doing something that is meaningful and enjoyable and honors your values?
— Identify your target audience. Who needs the expertise you bring, and would be willing to pay – well – to get it?
Once you have clarity around these three areas, consistently raise your visibility among your target audience. If the people who need to know about you don’t know about you, you don’t have world class positioning. Conversely, you will know you’ve been effective when recruiters are calling you, regularly, for the kinds of positions that are a good fit with your expertise – and – fit with your senior executive stature.