快速學習:如何與何時突破自己和自己的職涯

Quick Study: How and When to Disrupt Your Career, and Yourself
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如果你對自己目前的職位感到舒適自在,卻也覺得無聊,你就處於危險區域。以下有些方法,可讓你保持成長,但又不必離開公司。更多詳細內容請參考本刊文章〈事業突破四部曲〉

你要怎麼做?當你在一家公司工作,擔任同一個職位三、四年,而你很喜歡這家公司。你認同這家公司,你相信公司的使命。但問題是,你逐漸覺得該是時候去做些新的事情。

你沒有真正發揮所長。你沒有每天善用自己的長處。就像是在星期一早上醒來,心想天哪,又得去上班了,有時你甚至生病了。這對你是一種訊號,顯示也許是時候做些新的事情了。

那麼你要怎麼做?該怎麼做?我的經驗是,我曾在華爾街工作,擔任股票分析師約八年。我是機構投資者級別的分析師,在我的領域表現頂尖。感覺好像是時候了,我該去做些新的事情。我去找上司,對他說:「嘿,我想做些新的事情,我覺得是時候了。」他說:「真的嗎?不,我們真的很喜歡你待在現在職位。」

一年內我就離開了。如果當時有機會去做新的工作,在組織內突破我自己,我就不會離開。我會留在那家公司。於是我踏上這段歷程,要打造一個架構或流程,讓想待在自己喜歡的組織中的高績效人才,能夠留下來。那是什麼樣子?你感到無聊。為什麼?因為你不再學習。不是我不喜歡這家公司,也不是我不喜歡這個上司。只是我不再學習。

你要了解的第一件事,就是每個人都在一條S曲線上。現在你處於S曲線的頂端,如果你嘗試在這個位置待太久,原本的高原將成為懸崖。用一句話來說,S曲線是什麼?好的,你知道嗎,之前從來沒人要我用一句話說出來。這是不是很有趣?什麼是S曲線?

S曲線是學習曲線。每個人都在學習曲線上,你也是。它看起來像是這樣,分為三個部分:第一個是曲線的底端或起點,特色是經驗不足。你才剛開始擔任新職務,剛開始新工作。成長將會很緩慢。

這表示有段時間你會感到沮喪。然後會出現甜蜜點,也就是曲線的陡峭部分,特色是興奮、學習、自信。事情會很難,但不會太難。容易,但不會太容易。你所有的神經元都在燃燒。這就是S曲線的甜蜜點。

然後是曲線的高端。在曲線的高端,你會成為大師。你已精通你的領域,這裡的特色是無聊。但這裡令人鼓舞的是,你可以對自己說,好的,這就是我變得不太對勁的原因。這就是我覺得無聊的原因。這就是我覺得必須做一些新事情的原因。你一旦知道這種情況,就可以說,好吧,我必須對此採取行動。

你可能在想,真的嗎?我真的很享受處於S曲線的頂端,會感到舒適自在。我若是跳到新的S曲線,會有點嚇人。這意味我必須置身在全新的情況,讓人很不自在,我真的不想這麼做。但你如果不跳,同樣也很可怕。如果你過得太舒適,就會停止成長,會太自滿,這是巨大的危險區域。我告訴你,你只要懂一點爬山,就會知道當你爬到2.6萬英尺以上的高度時,那就是死亡區域,因為你的位置太高,你的大腦和身體會開始死亡。

當人們處於S曲線頂端時,那也是死亡區域。因為你若待在那裡太久,大腦和身體就會開始死亡。你必須採取行動因應。好,你位於S曲線的頂端,你感覺必須跳到新的S曲線,做法可能是跳槽到另一家公司,但你說我想待在原本的公司。我喜歡這家公司,喜歡我的上司。你該如何和你的主管討論?

你應該做我當初沒有做到的事情。就像我當初在華爾街。我感到無聊,我想做點新鮮的事。我天真地希望,上司能為我想清楚該做些什麼。我學到一些很好的教訓。你應該積極主動。你應該去找主管,對他說,我現在該去做一些新的事情。我注意到那裡有個機會,這表示組織在那裡有個問題需要解決,而我自認可以幫忙解決那個問題,所以我想去做。

我希望當我投入新工作時,你能支持我,當然,我會好好訓練接我職位的人,不會讓你,我的主管,陷入困境。有時我們會忘記,主管也有必須完成的工作。如果我們離開,他們會很難完成那些工作。但你如果可以找到要去的地方,就應確保接你工作的人很快就能上手,不會讓工作中斷,如此你就能解決很大一部分的問題或挑戰,以免主管說我不想你走。你可以說,其實從長遠來看,這不僅讓我受益,也會讓你和整個組織受益。

你身為領導人,作為一個組織,你需要可以成長的人。你需要的人要能夠學習、跳到新領域,然後重複這個循環。因此,你身為主管的挑戰是,如果這個人擅長自己的工作,請一定要讓他們跳到新的S曲線。有時他們會主動來跟你說,他們想跳到新的S曲線。如果你想留下他們,就必須答應他們這麼做。有時他們不會主動告訴你,但他們過去的績效一直很好,在這種情況下,你必須推他們一把。

因為,他們若是位於曲線的頂端,感到很無聊,就會選擇離開,或者就是不再那麼認真工作。他們會自滿,而且留在公司工作,這很糟糕。這對他們不好,對你不好,對公司不好。我的假設是:每當人們失業時,我先前也曾失業,我的論點是,當你失業時,假設你正處於S曲線的頂端,就表示你該跳去新曲線了。

你知道這一點,但不想去做,所以冥冥中有人推你一下。你是否想突破自己,主動控制這種情況,弄清楚如何和何時應跳出去,以及跳到何處?還是你想要被人推下懸崖?因為你的高原變成了懸崖。

(劉純佑譯)


So what do you do when you are working at a company, and you've been there for in the same role for three or four years, and you love this company. I mean, you believe in the company. You believe in the mission. But the problem is, there’s this creeping feeling that it's time for you to do something new.

You're not really playing to your strengths. You're not getting to use your strength every day. Like, you wake up in the morning on Monday, and you're like, oh my goodness, I have to go to work, sometimes maybe even getting sick. That's a signal for you that, like, oh, maybe it's time for you to do something new.

So what do you do? What do you do? One of the experience I had is I was working on Wall Street, and I had been an equity analyst for about eight years. I was an institutional investor-ranked analyst and really at the top of my game. And it was like, it's time. It's time for me to do something new. And I went to my boss. I said, hey, I want to do something new. It feels like it's time. And he said, really, no, really, we like you right where you are.

Within a year I left. Had it been possible for me to jump to do something new, to disrupt myself inside the organization, I wouldn't have left. I would have stayed where I was. And so that led me on this journey of, how do I build out a framework or codify a process so that people that are high performers who want to stay at an organization that they love will stay? What does that look like? You’re bored. Why? Because you're no longer learning. It's not that I don't like this company. It's not that I don't like this boss. It's just that I am not learning anymore.

So that's the first thing that you want to understand is that everyone's on an S-curve. Okay. Now that you're at the top of that S-curve, if you try to stay there too long, your plateau will become a precipice. In a sentence, what is the S-curve? Ok. Yeah. You know what. No one's ever asked me to say it in one sentence. Isn’t that funny? So what is the S-curve?

The S-curve is a learning curve. Everyone's on a learning curve, including you. It looks like this. There are three parts. Number one, there's the low end, or the launch point, of the curve, and is characterized by inexperience. You just started a new role. You just started a new job. Growth is going to be slow.

And that means that some days you're going to feel kind of discouraged. Then there's a sweet spot, or steep part of the curve, which is characterized by exhilaration, and learning, and confidence. Things will be hard, but not too hard. Easy, but not too easy. All of your neurons are firing. This is that sweet spot of that S-curve.

And then there's the high end of the curve. The high end of the curve is where you become a master. You've mastered your domain, which is characterized by boredom. But what's encouraging about that is then you can say to yourself, OK. That's why I'm cranky. That's why I'm bored. That's why I'm feeling like I need to do something new. And once you know that you can say, all right, I need to do something about that.

You might be thinking, all right, really? Like, I'm really enjoying the top of this S-curve. It's pretty comfortable. And for me to jump to a new S-curve, it's going to be kind of scary. It means I need to put myself into a situation where things are brand new and really uncomfortable, and I really don't want to do it. But it's also scary if you don't jump. If you're too comfortable, we stop growing, and we get complacent, and that is a huge, huge danger zone. Let me tell you, for anybody who knows anything about mountain climbing, you'll know that when you get to an altitude above 26,000 feet, it's the death zons, because you're so high up, your brain and body start to die.

Well, when people are at the top of an S-curve, it's also the death zone. Because if you stay there too long, your brain and your body, they start to die. You have to do it. OK. You’re at the top of an S-curve, and you’re like, OK, I got to jump to a new S-curve. And it's either going to be at another company, but I'd like to be here. Because I like this company. I like my boss. How do you craft that conversation with your manager?

You want to do everything that I didn't do. Like what I did on Wall Street. I'm bored. I want to do something new. In my naivete, expecting my boss to just figure it out for me. I've learned some good lessons. Be very proactive. You want to go in and say, it’s time for me to do something new. I've noticed that there is an opportunity over here -- meaning a problem that the organization needs to solve over here -- and I think I can help solve it. And so I'd like to go do that.

What I will do is I will commit to make sure that when I go do this, and I hope that you will back me, I will make sure that I train my successor so that you, my boss, are not left in the lurch. We sometimes forget that our boss has a job that they need to get done. And if we leave, then it will be hard for them to get it done. But if you can find a place for yourself to go, manage so that the person who will fill your slot will be able to move in very quickly, then there is no interruption of business, then you’ve solved a lot of the problem or the challenge of why your boss might say, well, I don't want you to go. Well, you’re like, well, actually, in the long run, this is not only going to benefit me, but it's going to benefit you and the organization.

You as a leader, you as an organization need people who can grow. You need people who learn, leap, and repeat. And so the challenge for you as a manager is, if this person is good at what they do, is to make sure that they jump to new S-curves. Sometimes they're going to approach you and want to jump to an S-curve. And if you want to retain them, then you got to let that happen. Sometimes they won't approach you, but they've been a high performer in the past, in which case, you need to push them.

Because if they're at the top of the curve and they're bored, they're either going to leave, or they're going to disengage. They're going to be complacent and stay, which is bad. It's bad for them. It's bad for you. It's bad for the company. I have this hypothesis that whenever people lose their jobs -- I've lost my job before -- my argument to you is when you lose your job – hypothesis -- you're at the top of that S-curve. It’s time for you to jump.

You know it, and you won't do it, so the universe gives you that nudge. Do you want to disrupt yourself, take control the situation and figure how, and when, and what you jump to? Or do you want to get pushed off the cliff? Your plateau becomes a precipice.



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