7 Career Mistakes That Turn Your Mojo into Nojo - Mojo Recuperation

by Brusman, Dr. Maynard Sunday, June 20, 2010
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I recently was contacted by the Human Resources Director of a professional service firm in the Silicon Valley. She was interested in me speaking on career mojo and employee engagement at a leadership retreat in Northern California. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with coaching clients and organizations to unleash employees’ intrinsic motivation, and enhance their career development and engagement.

The HR Director and I spoke about my approach to executive/career coaching, and the factors that can tap into employees’ mojo or positive spirit. We also spoke about the Gallup organization’s findings on employee engagement. Employee engagement has been at an historic low level. Company leaders need to tap into workers’ inherent motivation and creative drive to boost the number of actively engaged employees from the paltry 33 percent reported by the Gallup Organization.”

People want work that is aligned with their intrinsic motivation seeking mastery, autonomy, purpose and self-direction. Employees want their work to be meaningful in order to be happy and fully engaged. However, a number of people make career mistakes that jeopardize their career success. Forward thinking leaders provide resources and support to help their people make the right career decisions.

The Human Resource Director is interested in me speaking at a workshop about my executive/career clients that have created meaningful work and are resilient and happy. She also wanted me to address how company leaders could regain their mojo, and stay engaged if they had slipped into nojo and become disengaged. We further discussed how organizational leaders can benefit by working with an executive/career coach to enhance their career satisfaction and productivity.

In Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It, leadership expert Marshall Goldsmith lists seven common career mistakes.

Common Career Mistakes

Goldsmith lists seven professional mistakes that contribute to career failures in otherwise competent, successful and smart people:

1. Over-committing
2. Waiting for the Facts to Change
3. Looking for Logic in All the Wrong Places
4. Bashing the Boss
5. Refusing to Change Because of “Sunk Costs”
6. Confusing the Mode You’re in
7. Maintaining Pointless Arguments
a. Let me keep talking. I had it rougher than you.
b. Why did you do that?
c. It’s not fair.

As you think about these potential pitfalls, try to pinpoint the ones to which you’re predisposed.

Leadership Feedback

I am the executive coach and trusted advisor to the CEO of a Silicon Valley professional services firm. The CEO as well as members of his senior leadership team all completed an emotional intelligence-based multi-rater 360 – degree feedback process.

The 360 feedback surveys indicated that the CEO and his senior leadership members were unconsciously modeling many of the mojo killing behaviors adversely effecting firm morale. The CEO is holding himself and his leadership team accountable to get better.

The firm’s senior leaders and I are working on their mojo recuperation. Every firm leader has a feedback team that provides positive feedback when the leader models mojo energizing behavior, and holds the leader accountable for lapses into nojo.

Executive Coaching helps with measurement of desired behaviors and follow-up. Employees have commented on observing significant improvements in their leadership and a more positive workplace culture.

Mojo Recuperation

What can you do when you recognize these behaviors in yourself?

It’s easy to say, “OK, guess I’ll stop doing that.” It's harder to maintain progress whenever you seek lasting behavior change.

Someone once asked Goldsmith, “Does anyone ever really change?” After surveying 86,000 former clients and, later on, more than 250,000 respondents from his leadership development seminars, his conclusion is unequivocal:

“Very few people achieve positive, lasting change without ongoing follow-up. Unless they know at the end of the day (or week or month) that someone is going to measure if they’re doing what they promised to do, most people fall prey to inertia.”

The key words in Goldsmith’s statement are “measure” and “follow-up.” Because very few people can succeed alone with self-help efforts, many seek assistance from a mentor or executive coach.

Always remember that your competition continually responds to a changing business environment by working longer and harder. This means mojo is not an option; it’s a career differentiator. You need it to separate yourself from the throng — and your personal spirit will ultimately thank you.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches are hired to provide career and leadership development for company leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders sustain their career mojo? During challenging economic times, leaders at all levels need to improve their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills as part of overall career development.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I recognize any of these mojo killing patterns in myself?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations, provide executive coaching and career development for leaders who want to maximize their career mojo and be fully engaged at work.

Working with a seasoned executive/career coach trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I and Denison Culture Survey can help your people tap into their intrinsic motivation and create happy companies where people love to work. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

I am currently accepting new executive coaching, career coaching, and leadership consulting clients. I work with both individuals and organizations. Call 415-546-1252 or send an inquiry e-mail to mbrusman@workingresources.com.