.This week I’m beginning an occasional series, “Can This Career Be Saved?” It’s named after the popularly magazine feature, “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” I’ll present a scenario and suggest my response. Then I’ll ask some questions and invite you to comment on the blog post.
You are also invited to contribute questions that can be turned into scenarios; just include lots of detail (disguise as desired) and I will edit.
Today’s example is based on a scenario Jake Breeden’s book, Tipping Sacred Cows
Ann, a senior banking officer, loves her job. She focuses her attention on on building client relationships. Her colleague and peer, Darren, tends to be more assertive about getting new clients.
Ann and Darren both attended a three-day event where they will meet many prospects and clients. Darren totally focuses on meeting new clients. When he sees existing clients, he stops with a brief chat and a handshake. He focuses completely on his goal of closing new business.
Ann, on the other hand, spends more time depending relationships with her current clients. She works hard but still finds time to take breaks at the hotel gym.
Darren closes half a billion in new assets; Ann deepens client relationships. Shortly afterward, Darren gets promoted to senior VP. Ann doesn’t understand. She’s doing a great job, isn’t she?
Breeden, author of the and original scenario, says it’s a matter of balance. Sometimes you can’t balance all your competing demands and you have to focus.
Here’s what I think:
It’s a question of understanding what the organization wants you to do. Some of my clients (both men and women) resemble Ann. They focus on what they think is important, which may not be completely aligned with the organization’s reward system.
I’d also encourage Ann to look at her numbers. If she’s retaining clients for the bank while her peers have more turnover, she can make a good case for her own value. She can demonstrate that she retains assets, contributing to the overall bottom line.
Should Ann stay with her department or with the bank? She needs to begin focusing on the bottom line. As you move up in any organization, this focus will become even more important, whether she contributes by client relationships or by developing new business.