NOTE: This is a book excerpt with minor edits from Mandatory Greatness: The 12 Laws Of Driving Exceptional Performance by J.T. O'Donnell and Dale Dauten. You and your team are a commodity product until you prove otherwise. Along with his son, Darrell, and daughter-in-law, Teena, Jim Potts owns a pair of stores in Arkansas called Lewis and Clark Outfitters. They sell hiking and camping gear in their retail stores and also have a line of products they sell through Sam’s Club stores. Theirs is not a big, national success story - not yet - but a good one. Over the past two years their sales have quadrupled. How’d they do it? When they opened the first store, the senior Potts didn’t have much product expertise to offer customers: “I didn’t understand the technical specs on the bikes or anything else in the store - so I decided to focus my attention on the one product I did understand: socks.” He called the company that makes SmartWool socks and told them that he intended to become their number one store. They told him that he’d do well to sell a thousand pair a year. His quixotic response: “I can sell that many in a week.” His record is 1320 pairs in one weekend. How did he do it? He made a challenge of getting every customer who came in the store to try on a pair. He called the folks at SmartWool and said, “What percent of people who try on your socks buy them?” They didn’t know. So, he told them it was 89 percent and asked for help with the cost of the unpurchased pairs (which the store gives to employees). Eventually, Potts, sock expert, went directly to the factory and said, “Make me a better sock.” They said, “Fine, but we need a million-dollar order.” And that’s when he persuaded the folks at Sam’s Club to carry his new brand, OmniWool, and that became the first of several of Potts’ products they carry. Potts always had a big dream, but it started with one little item of clothing, a seemingly ordinary one, that he decided was not going to be a commodity. He wasn’t about to be one, either. About that story Yvonne concluded, “Not just every entrepreneur, but every employee in every company needs an and – ‘He’s a great employee AND, oh boy, does he know socks.’ We may belittle specialists for ‘knowing more and more about less and less,’ but when we need help, that’s exactly the guy we turn to.” What I understood was that being competent was essential, but only that; it was merely a job requirement. I now understood that I didn’t need to be different in everything, didn’t need to change everything; all I needed was my “and,” and then I needed to help everyone who worked for me find theirs. Mandatory Greatness is presented as a conversation between a high-powered business coach, Yvonne Wolfe (described as having “skirts of steel”), and a young manager who won a day of her coaching in a charity raffle. She observes him in his work, then offers a stark and startling analysis of him and his approach to his job: By imitating other managers he is making himself “a commodity product” destined for “inadvertent mediocrity.” She then teaches him to remake himself into a highly-valued teammate and a true leader using The 12 Laws of Driving Exceptional Performance.
Whether you're a college student trying to figure out where your true calling lies, an experienced professional getting back to work, or someone just looking for a career in another field, you need to make your choice carefully. With women making considerable strides in fields that were previously male-dominated, the lines of career limitations have blurred.
There are more career choices available to women now than ever before. A woman plays many roles—sister, daughter, friend, wife, mother, confidante, breadwinner, and so on. You, being a multitasking woman, need to find a career that not only pays you well, but allows you to be a career woman without having to compromise on any of these roles.
If you think this is impossible, think again!
Lots of women have found careers that balance beautifully with their family life. So, now that you know it isn't unthinkable to achieve work-life balance, how about making it happen for yourself?
With a plethora of options, you may have a tough time deciding which career would be most suitable for you. Of course, no two women are the same and neither are their choices. But some careers provide women with the best opportunity to achieve both career success and work-life balance.
Here are the top eight career choices for women:
For women who want a chance to do what they really love doing, who have always dreamed of starting their own business, entrepreneurship could be the perfect career.
Wouldn't it be great to work from a place of your choice and at your own time? This would give you the flexibility to allocate time to your business and family as needed.
This is also one of the biggest challenges you will ever take up in your life as every decision will rest on your shoulders. Your employees would depend on you for their livelihood. Hence, this is also a great way to contribute to society.
Being an entrepreneur lets you be in charge because it is you who runs the show. Instead of putting in efforts to generate profits for other companies, why not channel those efforts towards creating greater profits for yourself?
With IT companies starting up and mushrooming rapidly, it's little wonder that this field has become so popular among women.
Young women can take up a career in the IT sector after earning a certificate or bachelor's degree in an applicable field, like computer science, informational technology, and cyber security. There are also many programs available to women of all ages who want to learn how to code—one of the most useful and in-demand skills in today's job market.
The ease and excitement of working on the internet, designing software and apps, implementing IT solutions for businesses, security, gaming, smartphones, etc. could be a huge draw. This is another field where you can make a difference as well as earn good money.
Whether you choose to be a pharmacist, a surgeon, or a nurse, a career in the medical field provides women with the ability to achieve career success and wealth. Plus, there's good job security.
As a qualified professional, you will always be in high demand, and once you've gained significant work experience, there's going to be no looking back.
Teaching has always been considered one of the most women-friendly careers as it allows women to spend sufficient time with their families, de-stress, go on vacations, and balance home and work. It's also one of the most rewarding and important careers anyone can choose to pursue.
The best part of being in the teaching field is that recession or no recession, your skills will always be sought after.
5. Human Resources
This field is perfect for women who have a penchant for working in the corporate world and interacting with people to solve organizational issues.
The job involves shortlisting and interviewing candidates, hiring and training them, setting their pay, benefits, and perks, designing appraisal systems, formulating policies and leave structures, looking after employee welfare, and settling disputes.
Every large organization needs qualified and experienced HR personnel and they are paid quite well, too.
No one solves problems like a woman does.
Given the fact that most women are good observers, empathetic listeners, and great communicators (all soft skills employers want in employees), they're sure to excel as psychologists or therapists.
A career in this field allows you to help those struggling to overcome many different personal and family problems. With substantial work experience, you can stand to make a lot of money and even charge on an hourly basis.
7. Interior Design
You've probably put in a lot of thought and effort into designing your home and making it look stunning. From selecting the perfect hangers for the closet to picking out the most exquisite lampshade, you know what it takes to make a home beautiful.
Now, how about extending this talent a little further and helping others make their home look gorgeous, too? A career in interior design is a great option for women who are creative, organized, and detail-oriented—who don't want a boring office job.
As you develop your career as an interior designer, you also gain the flexibility to pick your clients and appointments and get paid immensely well.
For women who are creative, good at communication, and love research, media is the place to be.
All companies nowadays have (or should have) social media accounts that need managing, in addition to their primary marketing and PR departments, so this field is only growing.
Writing, advertising, public relations, journalism, photography—there are many choices available for women who want to pursue a career in media.
Women today can achieve it all, from financial independence to a family, and from a progressive career to a great personal and social life. And, why not? Your decisions have the potential to give you all that you desire.
So, make sure you decide well!
If you're a woman struggling to find the right career for you, we can help.
We'd love it if you joined our FREE community. It’s a private, online platform where workers, just like you, are coming together to learn and grow into powerful Workplace Renegades.
It's time to find work that makes you feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. Join our FREE community today to finally become an empowered business-of-one!
This article was originally published at an earlier date.
Read more Show less