One of my fondest childhood memories involves Christmas. I can remember doing my best in school, achieving academic success early on and even volunteering when I’d rather be outside playing. I made a decision at a young age to implement a strategy that included effective behaviors and tactics if I wanted to maximize results! Yes, I was an honor roll student because I knew if I wasn’t, Santa Claus would not stop by for a visit at the end of the year. I made him a list of everything that I wanted and I also made sure that he received my annual special gift, the Life Savers Christmas Book. It was a decorative box that resembles a book with several rolls of candy in it. I knew Santa valued my gift because every Christmas morning, year after year, he would take his beloved gift with a personal note attached from yours truly. I on the other hand, felt that my hard work and dedication at school paid off as I was surrounded with everything from my list and then some! I learned lessons early in life about initiative and motivation that have helped me throughout my career. Unfortunately there is an epidemic that is rampant in organizations today where so many employees lack initiative and motivation. I call this a bad case of the IM Syndrome.
The IM Syndrome is the lack of a combination of two elements that are critical to your success, initiative and motivation. These elements individually are important, but collectively, they will catapult you into the next level of your career. Let’s take initiative for example. I decided that I wanted to pursue a role outside of leadership to understand what a season in the life of an individual contributor looks like. I decided to research the line of the business that I was pursuing and I made an effort to contact others who worked in my future department. Initiative is the power or the ability to begin or follow through energetically with a plan. I recognize that my plan and whether or not I executed the plan couldn’t come from those around me, but that this process started and ended with me.
Motivation, the other component of this syndrome, is the driving force by which we achieve our goals. When I decided to start my business, I wasn’t sure what would happen. I didn’t know how long it would take before my first client contacted me, I didn’t know when the perfect opportunity would present itself; but I did acknowledge that failure wasn’t an option. I have been determined since February of last year when my site went live to inspire others to reach new heights in their career. In order to make this happen, I possess the desire to ensure these goals are achieved. If you want to be successful in your career, you can’t lack desire because if you do, motivation will be nonexistent.
I’m not sure if you have a case of this harmful career disease, but the good news about IM syndrome is that there is a cure. Initiative and motivation come from within, even though the catalyst might be external. In other words, what you need to succeed is inside of you. The next time you begin to question whether or not you have what it takes to be successful, determine whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with IM Syndrome. I personally don’t anticipate another episode of this illness anytime soon now that I understand that my keys to success are IM (inside me).
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5 Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager
How I Remain Calm Amidst Workplace Chaos