Tooting Your Horn in Transitions

So, what have you accomplished that you are not taking credit for? What do you do well that you are taking for granted? What horns can you toot that you are not even aware of? Think about it. They are out there - realize them. Realize them with a little help from your friends, colleagues, coaches etc. What horns can you toot that you do not?

I had a realization last week. My realization came during a presentation by Michael Watkins, co-author of The First 90 Days in Government, Critical Success Strategies For New Public Managers At All Levels.  Michael was one of the great presenters at the HBR seminar I participated in during the SHRM Conference and the bearer of another golden nugget. The topic was successfully transitioning a move from the private to public sector. Core leadership traits and managerial skills necessary for success hold true, but the rule book in the public sector can be very different from that in the private sector. The games are played differently. Not understanding or acknowledging that differences exist is where many leadership transitions falter.

Transitions, by their very nature, are marked by change, growth and challenge, be it  public to private, private to public, global to local, retail to manufacturing, communications to health care, college student to employee, between organizations, within organizations etc. Successful transitions are not about taking what you know and laying it on top of where you are going and expecting it to work. Successful transitions are not about taking what you know and leaving it at the door. Successful transitions are about taking what you know, learning what you don't and applying both to fit the situations at hand. Transitioning successfully is a skill to take credit for. It is another bullet on your resume, another point of discussion, another selling point for your cover letter; it is a golden nugget.

As someone for whom tooting my own horn does not come easily (but, I am getting better), this was a discovery. I have had many transitions throughout my career and today, transitions are very prevalent throughout the workforce with braided careers. Many of the lessons learned as I moved from college student to Army officer, from logistics to HR, military to publicly held company, from publicly held to family owned, from manufacturing to health care, from private to public, and not to forget from the East Coast to Midwest have been in the transition itself. I developed great skills in the course of my transitions, however, I did not discuss them from that perspective or within that context. Now, I will. The workplace today is marked by continual, constant change. What better skill to have, to demonstrate, and to articulate than being able to adapt to change and to do it successfully time and time again?

So,what have you done that you are not taking credit for? What do you do well that you are taking for granted? What things do you do that you tell yourself - anyone can do that? Look again, can anyone really?! Who can you ask about what they see you do every day that inspires, encourages or amazes them? What transitions have you made?

Find your horn and toot it!