Over the last 5 years, I found myself asking “what am I doing that I love? What part/parts of my career do I find satisfying? What do I find enjoyable? What brings me the most fulfillment?” And in just the last year or so, the answer started to materialize that I was fulfilled and most satisfied when I was helping someone else achieve success. Helping someone identify, pursue and achieve their goals was really exciting for me. I loved it! As it turns out, throughout my career, I have always been purposefully or inadvertently helping people. Providing coaching, mentoring, discipleship, guidance, etc. I love it. I’m drawn to it.
Let’s do a deep dive on my career, if you’ll let me. 2 things are important to remember. First, faith is important to me and has an impact on who I am and what I do. I try and look through that lens first. Second, I played football in college and professionally for about 4 years. I graduated with an IT degree and a job offer from a fortune 50 company as a network analyst but spent the next 4 years doing something incredible that most people only dream of. I would never trade that experience. The reality is, I traded my “career” experience in IT to pursue the NFL. So as I came out of the football world, the question arose, “what am I going to do for the rest of my life?” Mrs. King and I had started a family and knew we wanted to grow that family (just how much was TDB). But the question of how I was going to support us was lingering and took many twists and turns to the present day.
So, faith and football with an education in IT were my guiding factors. I knew I had a responsibility to take care of my family, so the drive to do work, whatever it that may be, was strong. Mrs. King and I both wanted her to be able to stay home. She had a strong desire to do that and I wanted to honor her. We also knew that we were open to having as many children that God blessed us with. This led me through a winding road of experiences that included Financial Services, Home Building, Energy Efficiency Program Development, Sports Ministry, and eventually Recruiting and Sales. In all of this, my faith drove me to love people and care about them.
- Football gave me the discipline I needed to excel and the skills to be coachable and to be a coach.
- Financial Services helped me ask great questions.
- Home Building helped me with planning and managing people and projects.
- Energy Efficiency gave me the skills of reviewing and creating program documentation, working with teams and collaborating.
- Sports Ministry was a great use of my faith and football and developed my speaking, training, and coaching skills.
I spent the last 5 years in IT services recruiting and sales. This was a combination of my love of technology and of people. I was able to help people find jobs that they were a great fit for and help managers find great people to solve their problems. There was also a tremendous value placed on the internal development of my partners. I took that very seriously and enjoyed helping others get better at what they did. Through direct coaching, feedback and training I was able to make an impact on several people who were either my reports or my peers. This is where I started to see that coaching and developing people was my passion and I set out to see how I could do more of that within the boundaries of my career.
So, as I look back on all of it, here are my thoughts on my Philosophy of People Development:
- Love people. You have to have people’s best interest at heart when you are developing them. You have to care about their success.
- You have to know people’s goals and what’s important to them. You have to know and understand how they win and what their weaknesses are.
- Feedback is vitally important, both positive and constructive. no one can improve without feedback. Personal awareness will get you so far, but having others provide open and honest feedback in real-time is key to personal and professional development.
- Personal and Professional are so closely tied that they should interweave. Improving in one area will and should impact the other. The goal in developing other people is not just making them better at their jobs, but helping them be better husbands, wives, parents, siblings, friends, employees, servants, etc.
- Each person being developed must want the development to happen and be committed to pursuing change. People who aren’t coachable or are unwilling to commit will not see success.
- Most people want to change. They are seeking feedback and looking for ways to improve themselves. This is very true in the Millennial generation.
- Shout your praise, whisper criticism. Also viewed as Compliment in public, Criticize in private.
Based on this I drafted a vision statement for myself as follows:
I will zealously love others, actively engaging them by listening to understand and challenging them with thought provoking questions, ushering them towards a desired future which we can celebrate together.
What’s your vision for your life? What are you passionate about on a daily basis? Let me know.