How appropriate is it to view life and career as a game? I read somewhere that how you see life often determines what type of life you’ll experience. For example:
Life Is a Game:
- Tools = Strategies, playbooks
- Focus = Teamwork, winning outcomes
- What’s in your blood = Great gaming!
Let’s contrast that with another view:
Life is a Bore:
- Tools = Boring ones
- Focus = Everything was, is and will be boring
- What’s in your blood = boredom
Still holding fast to the boring view? Don’t bother reading any further.
Game-centric people (who pressed on with this article) stay on the lookout for tactics to improve themselves and play better. I recently moderated a panel that was absolute heaven for those of us who lean toward the game-centric view.
Thomson Reuters sponsored a leadership panel where accomplished TR women shared strategies for career and life success with high schoolers from the Girl Scout Leadership Institute in New York City.
The inspiring leadership takeaways that follow have a slant toward bringing your best self to the game for winning outcomes.
Understand the role you play well, and invest in that skill
Focus on your strengths and play up what you do well, says Yvette Jackson, Head of Collaboration and Community Services. Why is it that many of us spend much more time stressing about our weak areas, instead of investing in our power areas? Getting clear on our strengths, committing to ongoing education and disciplining ourselves to work toward a bit of improvement everyday empowers us to be the best we can in our field.
Rely on teammates
One of the things panelist Faiza Kamal, VP, Head of News and Search Technology, learned early in her career is that asking for help is critical. Whether you are captain of the team, heading the program or an individual contributor, you are not expected to know it all. That was an ‘Aha’ moment! ‘Even when I’m leading the team, I don’t have to know all the answers? I can still ask questions?’ There is truth in the reality that we are a team and collectively will determine the right approach to achieve our outcome.
Know your value
‘They want you just as much as you want them,’ says Dr. Divya Sharma, Research Technology Associate, when discussing her approach to engaging and interviewing with companies and institutions. It is neither arrogant nor negative to go into a game, a meeting or a negotiation knowing your value. Integrity rings true when there is clarity around worth of your time and skills. Imagine the assurance it brings to teammates, stakeholders and management – who rely on our judgment daily – when we first and foremost know our own value.
Cultivate relationships today that may grow into key partnerships tomorrow
People on your team and in extracurricular clubs and activities may be the people you call on and partner with later in life, according to Deirdre Stanley, General Counsel and EVP. Thinking about the kids from my girl scout troop, debate, writing and sports teams, I realize just how true that is. We contact each other frequently for nuggets of advice –according to our areas of expertise. I trust their competence based on the aptitude, drive and commitment I’ve seen in them since childhood.
And one bonus takeaway from this event:
Get a phenomenal coach
Good coaches, managers and leaders provide insight into possibilities, expose resources and encourage us to prepare for and receive right opportunities.
Importantly, they guide and consult when it’s time to shift the game plan. Whether I’m attending insightful panels, or speaking with accomplished mentors, effective coaching continues to inspire me to learn more and play smarter.
How does your life view inform your approach to your career?