“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”

– Frank Lloyd Wright, American Architectural Guru


Think about your own career, your own progression. Are you where you want to be? What are your goals? Are you in a rut? What are your options?


How do you think about professional progression?

Developing your professional progression strategy is the same thought process laid out in strategy development. You have to answer the basic questions:


What is your mission?

What fuels your passion…serving others, solving problems, making things happen, or helping others discover their potential? My mission is to “Live a balanced life while making strategy accessible to the masses to help people realize the potential within themselves and their organizations” My mission guides me to do those things, which reinforce my mission.


What are your values?

I wish I had solidified those values that are important to me earlier on in my life. I would have made some different decisions. Regardless of the past, my core values are:

• Let the best ideas win.
• Be balanced and have fun.
• Always do the right thing.
• Learn and teach, be challenged and challenge, and grow me and others

As you discover and solidify your core values, be true to them. When figuring out organizations, teams, and bosses to work with, make sure you share some common values.


What is your vision, your goals?

Ever since I graduated from Stanford, I wanted to lead organizations. It seemed like a challenging, fun, and dynamic role. Luckily, I’ve led many great organizations. Now, my vision is to share my learnings.

What is your vision for yourself, your goals?

You should think through not only the vision for your career progression but also your vision for how you will drive value in your organization. And, given your vision what are your goals in the form of KPIs that tell you you’ve achieved your vision? You should also think through the short-term (i.e., next 3-6 months), mid-term (6-18 months), and long-term (18 months to 3 years) goals.


What are your options?

This strategic step befuddles most of us. There is no cut or dry answer to this one. Just like in strategy development focus on creating a broader set of options. You can talk to people and mentors who have been on the journey you want to pursue. Maybe it is time to get more education. I got my MBA because I wanted to get back into strategy consulting, and an MBA was the best way.

Are there opportunities in your existing organization, can you make one?

Is it time to pursue another organization, or another career path?


What path will you pave for yourself?

Regardless of what path you decide to take, all of our professional journeys are what I like to term,  “adventures in business.” Adventures are more rewarding if you try new things, make new friends and relationships, challenge yourself, and strive to reach your potential. And remember, paths beget new paths. There is no one right path to anything. Often, when you take one path, all of a sudden there are 3 or 4 new potential paths.


Always find time to take on new challenges.

Strategic leaders love to problem solve the next challenge or bring to reality the next big opportunity. If you find yourself stuck, doing the same thing day in and day out, you have to figure out how to evolve your accountabilities. Can you delegate some of your responsibilities to someone else? Can what you do be automated? I typically tell people, if you want to get up in the world you have to learn to delegate, simplify or automate what you do so that you can do more valuable things. When you find yourself stagnating, you need to find a new challenge.




 Learn more about Joe Newsum, the author of all this free content and a McKinsey Alum. I provide a suite of coaching and training services to realize the potential in you, your team, and your business. Learn more about me and my coaching philosophy.
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