When I was in high school and even college, all of the career aptitude tests I took said that I should be an accountant. I didn’t really know what was involved with the profession – except math which I did not like – so I dismissed the notion repeatedly without any further investigation.

Today, I can look back and see that this was a very reasonable suggestion. I know now that accounting is much more than just math and my detail orientation would have probably allowed me to be a very good accountant. While I don’t regret my actual career path, maybe I should have listened to the test results.

If you are given advice repeatedly, even if it sounds outlandish at the time, perhaps give it a bit more credence instead of instantly ignoring it. If you hear that you’re good at something or could improve at a portion of the task, pause to consider what is motivating the suggestion. Ask some clarifying questions to understand what’s at the root of the feedback and ponder whether the core idea has any merit.

Even if you don’t follow the advice you are given, there’s no accounting for what you can learn to enhance your work along the path you do choose.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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