This years #AdventBlogs theme is the very beautifully creative “Comet Tails and Coal Dust”.
I took to the tinterweb to frantically research such things and discovered that, according to Wikipedia, “Comet tails are features visible in comets when they are illuminated by the Sun”.
I liken this description to the emotions that are fired up and behaviours displayed when people feel invested in and developed by their company. In my head, when I read the article, I translated it to, “Passion, belief, a can-do approach and enhanced performance are, among others, features visible in people when they feel valued”
In the majority of businesses, people are given the opportunity to progress and develop. Logically thought out career paths are presented and shared amongst the teams to stimulate interest which, in turn, helps to populate the succession plan. Often, I’ve found, the programmes on which they can embark are called things like “Rising Stars”, “Reach”, “Discover”, “Time to Shine”. They create the perception that you can, indeed, achieve your aspirations. The prospect of learning and progressing your career creates excitement; it generates new personal goals and opens up a whole new network which will provoke and evolve your thinking.
Then you learn that you are in a lottery.
You may be lucky and strike the jackpot (full on learning, development and real promise of progression). Equally, you may only get 2 numbers and win a lucky dip (a day out of the office and a free lunch). There is only so much budget allocated to L&D and, generally speaking, it’s never enough to meet demand. Decisions, therefore, have to be made about how people are selected. Cue, assessment centres, panel interviews, project work, presentations, profiling, personal preference. The list goes on.
So what do you do to increase your chances of winning the jackpot?
Picture this. 15 places on a programme. Like X Factor deciding on who goes to Judges Houses, decisions can be made based on gut feeling, appearance, the last interaction, how they communicate, confidence, how well they answered the (almost always) predictable interview questions, whether their face fits. Are the decisions based on ability and potential?
You get the call; you’ve been selected. BOOM! Radiance is shining from your very being. You’re glowing; about to be expedited through an unknown space leaving sparks in your wake.
But what of those who didn’t have a winning ticket? Perhaps they were not as confident or well presented. Didn’t fight hard enough to be seen and heard at the assessment centre. Were not as fluid when answering the questions during the interview. Maybe they were just not liked. It happens. They return to their role and, if they are lucky, feedback will be given. For many, it’s just back to the grind and continue as they did before. But what if, upon their return, they are celebrated, empowered, supported and coached? What if meaningful, true, honest feedback was given and acted upon? How different the end result could be.
You may not have the comet tail burning bright in the night sky, like the chosen few, but if you had the potential to be selected in the first place; someone saw a glint, something shimmering under the surface that suggested a potential diamond of the future. You, too, should be polished, cherished and, in the right setting, encouraged to shine.
Thank you to the very brilliant Kate Griffiths-Lambeth for a level of awesomeness that I had not yet encountered. Truly epic curating. This is Day 6 of a truly sensational series. You can read the whole of 2015 #Adventblogs here. Please do. They are stunning.
May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year. See you in 2016.