I was working at CCI and we were about to explode on the scene in multiple product areas.
Our management team determined we should bring in an advertising agency. Among the contenders was a group from the Boston area.
When the agency’s team arrived, our VP Marketing & Sales asked me if I’d give their Creative Director a tour of the manufacturing area and, in the process, quickly educate him on our products, technology and markets.
The gentleman was quite enjoyable to interact with. As we walked around, he asked good questions and clearly understood what we did. It was unexpected, by me, when he made several precise comments about my briefing, all quite positive.
We returned to the meeting room and had a few more minutes to chat. He raised the subject of careers and surprised me, again, by mentioning that he had written a novel that Disney made into a movie. He even shared some fun moments from the negotiations he and his agent had when the studio bought his book.
Two weeks after the “tour”, a package arrived to my attention. My new professional friend had enclosed a copy of his book, autographed with an additional observation about me.
His comments (verbal and written) not only encouraged me to continue in product management and marketing roles, but gave me confidence that these are areas where I had real abilities. He had helped me “frame” my career path.
Let me ask you two questions:
- Who helped frame your career?
- In your current organization, are you helping to frame a co-worker’s career?
Guiding others can be by steering him/her (no matter what his/her age) away from a functional area where that individual is not cut out to succeed. Or, like Gary Wolf did with me, provide motivation for that person to stay the course.
If you find reason to motivate, you’re now obligated to outline areas for improvement or growth, and to help coach that professional to reach the next level.
In case you didn’t recognize Gary by name, his book is Who Censored Roger Rabbit, and the movie, of course, was titled Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Continue reading