I’ve been managing for a couple, three years now. It always surprises me to find myself in this position. But it is fascinating to watch myself in it.
My biggest question in one-on-ones is always “where do you see yourself in 2 years.” I’m sure people get sick of hearing me ask it but I cannot stress to them how important I think this question is. Two years is always right around the corner. It’s far enough in the future that you have to plan for it but not so far that it cannot still sneak up on you.
I believe in working with A+ performers. I want everyone to be at the top of their particular game. The stronger my colleagues, the stronger the business. Strong teams raise all ships. The single biggest difference between a B performer and an A performer is that the A is working toward something that forces them to grow. B’s are usually really good at the job in front of them but not striving for something bigger.
Businesses and groups built around A performers are constantly changing and growing. They challenge themselves and others and compete by not racing to the bottom. Businesses built around B’s are really good today but their long term prospects will mainly be about simply doing what they do today a little bit better – aka racing to the bottom.
So where do you want to be in 2 years? What new experiences do you need to get there? What kind of people do you need to know to get there? What new skills do you need to acquire? Do you have weaknesses that you need to work on to get there? If you don’t know, stop and think about it. Take a walk while contemplating it. Then think about it again tomorrow….and the next day….and the day after that.