I don't spend 15 minutes thinking about making money. What's important in my life is influencing many people as well as China's development. — Jack Ma, CEO, Alibaba
Remarkable careers, like the leaders who create them, are made, not born. Successful careers don't happen by accident, any more than successful start-ups are accidental. Consider three critical building blocks to career-building:
1. Purpose. In a previous post I reported that less than 20% of business leaders can express their individual sense of purpose, according to the Harvard Business Review. And yet the most effective leaders have fierce resolve. They know their talents, strengths, gaps, and passions. They put their purpose to work consciously and with urgency. Think level 5 leadership. See Executive Springboard video.
I see every human being as having a purpose, a destiny, if you like - the destiny that exists in each of us - and find ways and means to provide such opportunities for everyone. - Jonas Salk
2. Being the best at something. There must be a need for what you have to offer, and your offering must be sought after.
I place the remaining years of my life in your hands. - Nelson Mandela to the people of South Africa, on the day of his release from prison, February 11, 1990
3. Financial viability. Your market-driven financial model must be sustainable. Test it. Perfect it. The money needs to be enough to keep you going.
You shouldn't be surprised that these are the same building blocks of any successful entrepreneurial company. You are the only start-up that matters. Leaving your mark takes self-awareness, conscious choices, and some hard knocks.
You may not fully comprehend the tracks you leave, but others will.
I make dreams happen for my team and my customers.- Out of work executive preparing her the next opportunity
For thirty years, Michael Bekins has lived and worked in Asia, Europe, and the US in global and regional roles, making almost a dozen cross-border moves. His conversations with thousands of executives have shaped his perspectives on life and work. He is Managing Partner of CapitaPartners, an executive coaching and consulting firm specializing in Global Mindset and Purpose-driven Careers. Connect on LinkedIn and Twitter.