Career Success with a “Stretch Team”

You might be the independent type who prefers to “go it alone” and achieve whatever your goals are without outside help. In that case, you probably do not have what writer Jon Gordon calls a “stretch team.” If that works fine for you in your career management and job search plans, maybe the stretch team concept is something you can afford to ignore. Maybe. However, I’d be willing to bet that most of you could find such a team highly effective and beneficial.

Why Might You Need a Stretch Team?

Gordon’s post on the subject of having a stretch team gives a pretty good indication to me of why you might find such a team valuable in managing your career and job search. He had recently completed a 5-mile run over some challenging terrain after not having run that far in about 20 years–running obviously wasn’t something he did for a living or even as a frequent hobby! However, he humbly and gratefully acknowledged that he would probably have given up by mile three or four if it hadn’t been for the strong encouragement and support he received from two other runners. Did he feel good about completing the run? Absolutely. Did it bother him that he needed help to achieve it? Not in the least.

What he did was to acknowledge the contribution those two individuals had made to his success in the run. That in no way diminished what he had accomplished. As he put it, “No one creates success alone. We all need a positive team to push and encourage us. Success is a team sport.”

How to Build Your Career Success Stretch Team

Those of you who already have a strong stretch team in place can skip this part, LOL. For the rest of you, I have a few recommendations:

  1. Take a few minutes to read and think about Gordon’s brief message, using the clickable link I’ve included above. It’s well worth the small amount of time it takes.
  2. Review (at least mentally) the colleagues, mentors/coaches, bosses, family members and friends in your wide network of professional and personal contacts. Use that as a starting-point to build your own stretch team–people who will “help you stretch and grow,” as Gordon says.
  3. Remember the give-back principle and offer (or accept an invitation) to serve as a member of another person’s stretch team and encourage him/her to achieve a challenging goal. Both of you will win that way!

I know I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have without that kind of support and encouragement. How about you?

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