Making Investments In Your Career
This week I have the great opportunity to be in Dallas for the Women’s Foodservice Forum Annual Leadership Conference. (#WFFCONF12) This content rich conference is a buzz connecting over 2300 managers, directors and executives who all aspire higher in their careers and for their companies.
I am honored to be a Board Member of the WFF. I am also proud to represent an organization that clearly aligns with my beliefs about careers, business and leadership development.
The WFF’s vision is to be the Leading authority for delivering content, developing competence and building connections.
Think about that vision – content, competence and connections. I can tell you with over 2300 leaders attending this conference the WFF is certainly delivering on their vision.
My question is how are you delivering on your vision of career success? What does your vision look like? Where are you investing your time, money and resources in to insure you accessing world calls content to build competitive competencies and strong connections? All great careers require an investment in all three areas constantly and continually.
If you are not at the WFF this week you can still follow the action via twitter hashtag #WWFConf12.
Here is another quick way to make an investment in your career - this terrific article from USA Today. Mark Pincus shares great career insights for everyone from a college student to a CEO. Start making an even greater investment in your career now – the returns can be amazing!
Excerpt: CEO Forum: Zynga’s Pincus talks of passion
By Jon Swartz, USA TODAY
…While some billionaire tech CEOs may take victory laps or calculate their megariches, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has become reflective….
Pincus talked with USA TODAY technology reporter Jon Swartz and took questions from students about his wild ride to dot-com success after a circuitous path through investment banking on Wall Street, because he “was very focused on financial independence,” to a stint at onetime cable giant TCI, where he got to view “every cool interactive opportunity in the world” to his “passion” at Zynga. The following excerpts from the conversation are edited for space and clarity…
Q: What did you learn from the first couple of companies that you were involved with? What mistakes or successes made you decide to start something like Zynga, which redefined a pretty well established market?
A: First, it’s important to know what your goal is, because if you don’t know what your goal is, you will definitely never achieve it. If you don’t have a clear goal, you will probably make so many compromises in your career or whatever it is you’re doing that you will wake up one day and forget why you chose to do what you are doing.
That was true with me. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I knew I wanted to create these break-through products. But I made so many compromises along the way, like with my company Support.com that went public. It became a company that I couldn’t be at anymore, and that was very strange. One of the things I say at Zynga is that we should all make sure we are building a house we want to live in.
On becoming an entrepreneur:
“I reached the point when I was 28 or 29 and I was in Washington, D.C., working for this VC firm, that I literally thought my career was washed up. I just thought I had made a series of wrong decisions, and I wasn’t on the blueprint I thought I was going to be on. A lot of times, I think, you become an entrepreneur when you feel like you have nothing else to lose. It started to crystallize for me that my passion was creating these break-through consumer services that would change people’s lives. It was later on that (venture capitalist) John Doerr and (former Electronic Arts executive) Bing Gordon, who have both been great inspirations to me, put a name on it. They called it an Internet treasure — products that people can’t remember life before, or they can’t imagine life without. That’s what the iPhone is. That’s the cellphone. That’s Google. I hope it’s Zynga.”
On being a ninja product maker:
“It’s good to make great products, at least financially. But be a ninja product maker. What that means is, develop this intuition about what people want and develop this skill set around — empathizing, be a student of the people around you. That’s what I love about consumers.”
“There is so much ambition and hard work in the world, but there is so little leadership. Not many people really want to be leaders, because it is scary, it’s risky. … It means getting outside your job, raising your hand and saying, ‘Hey, I think we are going in the wrong direction.’ I would say leadership starts with complaining and dissatisfaction … but that’s half of it. The other half of leadership is, complain and then make it better…”
- Kathleen Wood