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4 Steps to Successfully Move the Needle with Your Career

by Bob McCulloch

Drawing a chart

Where Are You in Your Career?

If you are like most executive level managers, you may find yourself in one of the following states:

  • Starting
    You’re about to launch a new initiative or you’ve taken on a new or expanded role.
  • Stuck
    You have implemented an initiative but have not worked out the kinks yet, as it were. Progress is stalled; you debate with yourself how to go forward… modify your course of action?… abandon the project altogether? Or, perhaps you are stuck in terms of progress; things are ok. Just ok.
  • Soaring
    You are approaching a peak point in your career; you are almost “there.” Now, how do you really take off and stay aloft? How do you keep up? How do you fly even higher?

Where to Next?

These are tough questions, and the good news is you already have the answers. To unlock them:

  1. Ask questions. The best questions elicit the best answers. Innate creativity and brilliance is within; being able to unlock it is a matter of asking the right questions. Having more questions than answers is fine at this point. In fact, it’s a great start.
  2. Look in a mirror. Often, the very simple process of explaining your thinking and having it played back can be very revealing. It is a way of clarifying thinking.
  3. Test. Is that what I want? Does my plan make sense? Does it work for my organization? What do we need to do? Upon answering these questions, you can then select the answers or strategies that will work best.
  4. Validate. Is this a sound strategy? Does it align with your values and goals and those of your organization?

All of these questions are concerned with validating the strategic thoughts against the backdrop of your values (heart level), instinct (gut level) and the coherence among them (throat level). Does this strategy feel right? Does it align with your values and ideals? Can I express it clearly? This helps to create greater confidence in strategic choices, but it also puts passion and commitment behind the ideas, helping to push them forward into reality.


Bob McCulloch

Bob McCulloch is a recognized authority in providing strategic guidance and executive coaching for tomorrow’s top business leaders. Employing a question-based approach and with over 40 years’ experience, he is able to build strong, trust-based relationships with senior-level executives who are looking to move the needle in their careers from good to great.



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