Learning to drive teaches me heaps about my business world. As a left footer, my clutch control is second to none, worryingly (if only for my instructors insurance!), my breaking still leaves something to be desired. Today’s lesson was a great metaphor for the manner in which we choose to take the next step, in driving, or on life and our careers.
As I grow in years and wisdom (!), I begin to understand the importance of the subtleties and nuances of my actions, be it when driving a car or progressing my career.
I’m my youth I might (ha!)), have been guilty of believing achievements were a kind of race…….. Competing for status, income, or to be ‘the best’ at whatever it was.
But the best is rarely the quickest. There are layers and layers of understanding and knowledge that build up the foundations of a sustainable business or personal success.
Likewise an excellent right turn is not about how swiftly the manoeuvre is completely, but how smoothly, safely and effectively it us executed.
So here I return to break-control. Resting my heel in the well of the car enables me to feel exactly the effect squeezing the break will have. Leaving my heel in the well enables me to build trust in my breaking, each and every time, whatever manoeuvre I need to make. From this point I can make minor and gentle adjustments as opposed to stamping on the break, in panic. I am thus making small changes and because I can estimate the outcome, I am in control.
And this is how it needs to look within our professional worlds too. A decade (or two!) ago I was really only equipped in my race for the end game with ‘stop’ and ‘go’ petals. I can tell you that even at the time I could feel that my journey lacked finesses & in fact was plain old terrifying.
I believe that now, with practice, my heels are resting comfortably in the well of the driving seat and I am in a position to make small adjustments and notice the nuances of each change.
As the sediment
of our professional knowledge and experience builds up, layer by layer, we are able to make much better informed adjustments as we refine our career paths.
Perhaps expertise is more a matter of ‘the hare and the tortoise’ than the Grand Prix after all… (Much to the chagrin of my inner teenager), this is just be what might ensures success for this adult ….