Executive Directors

The account executives of today will be the directors of tomorrow…only in a market and in a moment like the one we are living in, this is happening a little too literal.

The sudden change in the economy, the new skills required by technological advancement, the high employees rotation in the work force, the new opportunities and the lack of these too, are some of the factors that have caused that a lot of people who still need to accumulate experience, knowledge, practices and maturity are the ones occupying some positions that up until a few years ago where occupied by professional with a great background in their professional careers. And both organizations and individuals need to be accounted for this.

On one side, organizations, looking for ways to cut down costs have been capable even of assigning the responsibilities that used to belong to a professional with a lot of experience, seniority, and of course, a big salary, to young professionals who are just starting their careers. And on the other hand, these youngsters, who grew up in the era of “instantaneous” that their careers to be exactly that: “instantaneous”. They know that, because of the resources and tools they have at hand they can manage to take on a new position, even if it is just to have a new title.

Without realizing it, the companies that accept and promote this practice and suddenly wake up one day to an enterprise run fully by executive directors…I mean account executives who due to the circumstances became directors. And yes, the situation, almost automatically becomes a time bomb for both the company and the employee. Clients start to complain and instead of growing their business they threaten to take it away. Vendors stop providing their services for lack of payment; and stock holders start to question why there has not been any significant revenue in the quarter. The situation turns into crisis and the only escape valve is the let the new executive director leave.

So now we have a burned out, exhausted and unemployed ex executive director who has to look for a new job, maybe in his original position and hopeful that he’ll get promoted again really soon.

So next time you find yourself in a similar situation take a breather, don’t run just to run.

Analyze the situation; ask yourself if you really are prepared to assume the new position.

I am not saying that you should let opportunity pass, but rather that you need to be more aware of the decision you are about to make.

Give an honest answer to yourself: do you already know what you need to know? Have enough experience? Are you emotionally ready for the challenges that will come with the new job?

Be aware of the impact it will have in every aspect of your life and make sure you are willing to make the sacrifices that it will require of you.

Have a very clear vision of the skills you are already bringing to the table and humbly run an inventory on the new ones you will need to develop and master and how long will it take you to do so.

Don’t just take a new job because of the title in your business card or because you want more money.

Take it because you really are convinced that you can add more value through it.


To which group do you belong?

We see them every day, no matter the company, the hierarchy, the income or the kind of work they do.

And at the same time we see these other people too, just as often as the others, and with these, the company, the job, title or income does not matter either.

They interact with each other every single day, they work together, share office space, have lunch together and some even went to school together, and although some of them come also from very contrasting backgrounds they spend more time with each other than with their own families.

The ones from the first group become best friends with members from their group and from the other one as well. Those from the second one, doesn’t even become friends with their own group members.

At first glance they all are the same professionals we see every day at work, but we need only to pay a little more attention to realize one thing that distinguishes them from one another: some smile others don’t.

The folks in the first group, even though they are still in their daily crusades and know that they still have a lot of ground to cover, are content with their achievements and happy with their job. The do what they like and like what they do.
The ones in the second group are never happy, are over stressed and are never ever satisfied with what they’ve done at work, thus they are in a frantic search for growth within their organizations.

And no! What makes a person belong to one group or the other is not their title or their compensation plan.
I personally know some apparently “very successful” executives who occupy the top C-level positions in their organization and who are often complaining about the predicaments they are in, worrying about stock prices, quarterly quotas or about what their bosses or boards will think of them; I also know other executives who are as high in the organization as the prior ones (if not higher) who enjoy their work every single day as if it was their first (or last) day on the job.
And I also know people who have a much simpler position and who complain every day about their company not valuing them; and yet I know other folks who are grateful for what they do every day, because they know it’s all part of their plan.

So no, title and comp plan does not have anything to do with to which group we belong to.
What’s more in some cases people will often jump from one group to the other without realizing it.

So, what exactly defines to which group we belong to?

From my personal point of view, people who belong to the second group, the always insatisfied and angry one, do not have a clearly drawn career plan and have no idea as to where they are going, or even worse they do have a very specific career plan which they follow to the letter.
In this group, people start their careers maybe as an assistant then get promoted to coordinator, then to supervisor, manager, and with time, a little luck and an unconditional commitment to their career plan they become the great, very important executives they are today.

Now, in the first group, the one where folks are happy and content, people also start their career as an assistant, get promoted to coordinator, then to supervisor, manager, and also with time, a litter luck too and an unconditional commitment too, the also become the very important executives they are today. Only the people in this group are not just committed to their career plan, rather they understand that this is just another building block of a much bigger plan: their life plan.

These people do not complain because things are not going just as they would like and when facing the same challenges and bumps we all face, they always keep in mind one thing: this is just another step we need to take to get to where we want to go.These folks don’t get to the highest hierarchy in the organization thinking they are better than all the rest or not knowing what to do once they are there; they do not stay there just staring at their success to then fall. They get to where they want to get, no matter whether that is the biggest corner office in the building, owning their dance school, being part of a symphonic orchestra or opening a bar on the beach; because they know that getting there is part of their plan. Not their career plan but the plan of how they want to lead their life.

So now only one question remains: To which group do you want to belong?

An important note.

The comments, opinions and recommendations posted in this personal blog are my personal thoughts, and doesn't necesarily reflect those of my employer.