In your career, understanding your role and how it contributes to your progression is crucial. During a recent pro-bono mentoring session with mid-career to senior professionals, I had an epiphany about a common oversight in career development: many fail to distinguish between being a Doer, a Driver, and a Leader.
This distinction is not just a matter of semantics; it’s a fundamental aspect of repositioning yourself for career advancement and ensuring your resume truly reflects your capabilities and achievements.
Understanding the Three Roles
A. The Doer(s): This individual is hands-on, actively involved in executing tasks. They are essential to the daily functioning of any organization but may struggle with delegation or not recognize the need for it. Their strength lies in their ability to deliver and productivity.
B. The Driver(s): They also do the work but with an added layer: they guide and ‘push’ others toward completing tasks, acting as a bridge between doing and leading work. They are partly in execution, partly in coordination, often following directions from above while ensuring the team delivers.
C. The Leader: Leaders are visionaries. They foresee the future, set directions, and inspire their team, including both doers and drivers, to achieve collective goals. Their focus is not just on tasks but on outcomes, growth, and team development.
Misconceptions in Career Progression
Many professionals mistakenly equate leadership with activities like organizing, hiring, or collaborating. While these are important, true leadership transcends these functions. It’s about a fundamental shift in capabilities, results, and, most importantly, mindset.
The Mindset of a Leader
Leadership is less about titles and more about perspective and value creation. It’s about how you see yourself and your ability to contribute to the broader picture. Whether or not you have a formal leadership title, you can adopt a leadership mindset by focusing on:
1. Creating Value: Looking beyond your task list to how you can add value to your team and organization.
2. Assisting Others: Helping your colleagues succeed, which in turn contributes to overall success.
3. Self-Perception: Viewing yourself as a capable, impactful member of your organization, regardless of your current role.
Remember, everyone can embody leadership qualities. It’s not about your job title; it’s about how you perceive yourself and stay poised in your role for creating value and assisting others.
As you reflect on your career and life, ask yourself👉🏼 Are you a Doer, a Driver, or a Leader?
Understanding where you currently stand and where you aspire to be is crucial for your career progression and higher purpose in life.
Embrace the mindset of a leader, regardless of your position, and watch as new pathways in your personal and professional journey unfold.