Can you relate to this scenario….
- your workload is high – in fact,not just high, but stupidly high
- the client work is getting in the way of your business development efforts
- …. but you still have to do both.
Then someone wastes a day of your precious time. Yes, a whole (beep, beep, beep – insert particular swear word of your choice) day of your time. Time that you wouldn’t get back.
Welcome to my day today. I ended up the day being furious with pretty much anything which dared to cross my path. Daughter playing up. Tick. Person with headphones on train playing music so loud, that I wondered whether he wanted the train to know he was listening to Girls Aloud. Tick. Husband getting caught late at work, so I had to deal with kids this evening. Tick.
We all have days like this – and if you don’t you are probably not working in professional services. However, it took one phone call for me to release my frustration and let go of the bad day – but also see the positives. After all, despite what you think, there are some positives from today.
So, who was on the end of the line? My business partner, Jon (who co-incidentally heads up the small professional practices part of our business). Jon, in the one phone call, got me smiling, laughing and helped me release the pressure cooker of my emotions – which was fast building up steam into a crisis situation.
So, what did Jon do, and how does it relate to you and your journey to partnership? Jon, played 3 roles for me today – and you, if you are going to get through similar type days, will need those three roles around you.
Firstly, Jon showed up as my friend. He let me vent and gave me an outlet for my frustration. Without this outlet I could have been tempted to have indiscreet conversations on Twitter. Who is your non-work friend who you can ring up to vent about work – without it being a career limiting move on your part?
Secondly, Jon coached me on the call. Yes, he listened to me, but he also got me on the call to see the positives and context it with what we are trying to do. Who is your coach? Who is helping keep you accountable to your career plan – particularly when you are having a rough day (or month)? After all, we all need someone to give us a much needed boost on tough days.
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Thirdly, Jon acted as a mentor to me. He used his deeper experience of being in business to help show me why I was struggling, and gave me some answers to help me work through this tricky patch. It can be tempting to think that we have all the answers, as we progress to partner. In my experience, this is rarely the case.
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If you are going to get to partner, you will need to build a support team around you which will fulfil all these three roles. They may be one or many people. The number is not important. What is important is the fact that you can rely on them to be there for you to help you on the way to making partner.
How are you attending to your support team?
Written by Heather Townsend. I help professionals become the ‘Go To Expert’. I am the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life‘ and the author of the award-winning and bestselling book on Networking, ‘The FT Guide To Business Networking‘.
To find out whether I can help you, have a look at “our services”