Mel Savage Executive Coaching
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Episode 56 – The #1 Thing To Do To Get The Career Results You Want

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Episode 56 - The #1 Thing To Do To Get The Career Results You Want

Many individuals find themselves grappling with the elusiveness of desired career outcomes, be it improving boss relations, securing a new title, conquering a project, or honing fresh leadership skills. Striving for novel career results often unfurls an array of dissonant emotions like self-criticism, frustration, evasion, and anxiety – hardly a thrilling prospect, is it?

Contrary to a carefree escapade, the pursuit of goals can resemble a turbulent rollercoaster ride that churns your stomach. The truth? Most goals don’t come with a joyride. It’s more akin to a stomach-churning rollercoaster. Knowing that emotional turmoil is part of the price, what’s your approach?

This episode unravels the quintessential solution to attaining your coveted career results – a seemingly simple yet challenging endeavor.

Prepare for an exploration of not just what needs to be done, but how to navigate these waters. If you share my penchant for stubbornness, this podcast is sure to strike a chord.

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Disclaimer: Some of the content and information mentioned in this episode might no longer be applicable. This includes references to specific links, courses, or programs. As a result, all the links mentioned will now redirect you to our current website. There, you’ll find up-to-date information, resources, and exciting new content to support your journey. We appreciate your understanding and unwavering support.

Hey there, friends. I hope you are having an amazing day. An amazing day in an amazing week. And you’re sucking every ounce of awesomeness that you can possibly suck out of every single day. Because you know what? Life is just better that way, don’t you think? What’s the alternative? Being miserable? We can do that sometimes. But I prefer to turn that around and feel as awesome as I can as often as I can. 

In this podcast, which is really focused on your career, my goal is always to help you get the most out of your career, and enjoy doing it. That’s really the key, get the most out of it. But not to the detriment of yourself. Get the most out of it, achieve all your goals, but enjoy doing it in the process. Isn’t that like the ultimate win-win? That’s what I want for all of you. That’s the mission that I am on. No more sitting at your desk suffering thinking, What the hell am I doing here? How the hell did I get here? I hate my boss, I hate my life, I hate my job. None of them. I want all of that to stop. And I want you to actually go to work every day and get the most out of it and love doing it. That’s what we’re going to focus on this year.

One of the things I want to talk about is something that people complain to me about all the time is that they’re just not getting the results that they want the last few weeks because it’s the beginning of the year. I’m really focused on career planning right now. And I’m going to talk to you about an opportunity I have for you. But I’m really focused on career planning right now because it’s the beginning of the year. So over the last few weeks, I’ve really been focused on some key elements of that.

I did a podcast at the beginning of the month talking about how successful people think, like, what are the key thoughts that they have that keep them going? And then last week, we talked about the key elements of a career plan because a lot of people just think that showing up and doing a really good job at their day job is a proxy for even having a career plan. But that’s bullshit. You need a career plan and the elements of a career plan go way beyond your job. 

Then the next thing I want to talk about, which we’re going to talk about today is the number one thing that you need to do to get results. Because it doesn’t really matter what your goal is, or what kind of result you’re trying to get. This is the thing that you need to do to get those results. And it’s going to sound super easy, very simple as an idea. But I bet you you’re not doing it. It sounds so simple. It’s like something where you’re like, Yeah, that’s so simple. I’m sure I’m doing that. But you’re probably not. 

It’s usually the simple things that are the hardest things to do. It’s the things that we know. But we just don’t actually do the work to actually do the things we know. So it’s like, we always say to ourselves, You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And we just say it like it’s, pass the vegetables or something like it’s normal to say. But have you ever actually tried to get comfortable with being uncomfortable? That is not an easy thing to do when you think about it. We’re actually going to touch on that a bit today as well. 

I’m going to give you the one thing and you’re going to go, wah-wah, like Charlie Brown’s teacher like, wah-wah, not a big deal. Then I’m going to talk about why it is kind of a big deal. And the kinds of things that you need to do to actually do this one thing like what you need to allow for, how it goes, signs that you’re not doing it, signs that you are doing it, and all that kind of stuff. All because I want you to be that unstoppable success. That’s my mission. Unstoppable success for everyone. You deserve it. You work your butt off, and you deserve all that unstoppable success. So my mission is to show you how to have it and do everything I can to help you get there. 

Now let’s talk about you. I was talking about you before, but let’s get really focused on what I told you. I was going to talk about which is the number one thing that you want to do to get the career results that you want. Like I said, it is dead simple. It’s going to sound like, Whatever. Not a big deal. Are you ready for it? It’s just so simple. I love it. All right, here we go. Don’t stop taking action until you get to your goal. I’m going to talk all about this. I told you it’s going to sound really simple. 

The number one thing you need to do to get the career results you want is to not stop taking action until you get to your goal. So far it kind of sounds like, Yeah, seems pretty logical. I get it. I totally get it. It’s like what I said before, people always say things like, You got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. But they don’t, actually. It sounds so simple. It sounds so logical. But have you ever tried to do it? Have you ever tried to not stop taking action until you get to your goal? Yeah, you have. Because unless you’ve reached your goal, you stop taking action somewhere along the line, right? 

We let things like fear of failure, actual failure, self-sabotage, excuses, time, bullshit drama, or something someone said, or whatever, get in the way and stop us from taking action until we get to our goal. I don’t feel well today. Maybe that’s true, maybe you do need to take a break, or sometimes it’s just an excuse. These are all the things that we let get in the way of our goal. How do we actually not stop taking action until we get to our goal? It’s not an easy thing to do, actually. It takes a lot of mindset management.

I want to introduce you to a concept that might help you separate and see this a bit more clearly. I want to introduce you to the idea of massive action versus passive action. Not all actions are created equal. You might think you’re taking action to get to your goal, but you’re not getting any traction. And that might be because you’re stuck in passive action and you’re not taking enough massive action. Because you need both. 

But the thing that drives you into passive action, like you think you’re taking action, but you’re not getting anywhere, is some of those things like fear and excuses, time, and all that kind of stuff. Sometimes you just stop taking action altogether, or sometimes you just luxuriate in passive action. So I want to make sure that you all have at least an equal amount of both in your plan and what you’re doing. Because like I said, both are important. But you can’t just do one, you have to do both. And certainly, you need to take massive action. Because the difference between achieving a goal and not achieving a goal rests squarely on your ability to take massive action. 

The difference between goal dreamers and goal achievers is the ones who take massive action. Goal achievers are the ones who take massive action. But I want to start with passive action. Let’s start with understanding a bit about what passive action is because a lot of people like to stay here. Passive action is the things that are done in preparation for taking massive action. All the studying, the courses, the listening to podcasts, the plans you’re writing, the research you’re doing, the thinking, the journaling, and the reading, all that stuff is a kind of action. But I would describe it more as intellectual actions. 

Passive actions are more like intellectual actions that you’re taking. It doesn’t actually make you uncomfortable to take these intellectual actions. It feels fairly safe, actually. That’s why it’s passive. It’s not going to it’s not moving you forward, because you are learning stuff. But you’re not actually taking steps forward. You’re preparing to take steps forward. 

I’ll give you an example. Let’s say, you want to be a better manager of people. You’ve had some feedback that you need to be a better people manager, or you’re too controlling. That’s one that I get a lot as well. So you start taking passive action. You read your review, you talk to your team, you get a book on being a great manager, you get some more detailed feedback from your boss, and maybe you get a 360. You get some examples of what it means to be a great manager from your friends, from a mentor, or from someone else. 

Then you make a list of all the things that you want to do to be a great manager. Maybe even tell your team. Look, I’m going to be trying to be a better manager. Here’s what I really want to do. And you create the expectation. Those are all right passive actions because they’re all things that you’re doing to get ready to take massive action. But when it comes to doing the thing that you’ve made a list that you want to do, maybe you freeze, maybe you don’t do it, or maybe you try it, and it doesn’t work out. And then you don’t do it again. You don’t keep taking action until you get to your goal. 

Let’s say, for instance, one of the things I always encourage new managers to do is very simple. A very simple thing that you can do is to make the time in your calendar. You need to rethink, for instance, how you plan your time. For instance, you’re used to planning your time around the tasks that you need to get done for your day job. But as a manager of people, depending on how many people you manage, your whole schedule needs to change. 

You need to open up your schedule, so that at least 50% of your time, depending on how many reports you have, is about being there to manage your people and helping them get their job done. So that’s you changing how you manage. That might mean you have to delegate more and do less. And that scares people, especially when you’re a new manager, you think, I got promoted because I was good at doing stuff. And now I have to manage people. That’s too scary. I don’t want to make time to manage people. 

Another thing I always suggest to people is don’t fix problems for your team. When someone on your team comes to you and says, yada, yada, yada, this happened, this happened, what should I do? Your tendency as a new manager is to tell them what to do. The hardest thing is to stop. Don’t tell them what to do. Help them figure out what to do. Hold back. Ask them questions like, What’s the objective of what you’re trying to achieve? How do you think you should get there? What are the pros and cons of doing that? What help do you need from me? What do you need to watch out for? What do you think this person will say about that solution? How can you manage that? 

You’re you’re teaching them to be a critical thinker. That’s really hard to do. Because when you’re a new manager, you’re like, I just want to tell them what to do. I know the answer. It’s so much faster for me just to do it or to tell them what to do. Yeah, of course it is. And you know what else? It makes you feel safer if you tell them to do it your way because you think your way is the best way. But what you really need to do is to stop. Do not do it your way, let them do it their way, and give yourself the time and give them the time to figure out what their way actually looks like. So you put this whole plan in place to do that. 

Then the day comes, and your person comes to you and they’re like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, this happened, this happened, this happened. And you know what you do? You just tell them what to do. You give up the whole plan that you had. And you just tell them what to do, or you passive-aggressively tell them what to do. Then you fail, and you think, I can’t do this. I don’t have time to be asking people questions and open up time on my calendar. There’s no time in the day for this kind of crap. And you give up. And you complain that there’s just too much for you to do to be an empowering manager of people or to grow critical thinkers. You know what I mean? 

So you just sort of give up because it’s too hard. It’s very scary. When you think you know the answers, and you’re pressed for time, and you think that you’re the smartest person in the room, I’m going to say it that way, and you think all your answers are right, it’s very hard not just to give answers and solve problems. It’s really hard to sit back and let people solve their problems and help them figure it out. And even if they come up with a solution that might work, but it’s not your solution, let them go and do it their way. 

That’s a really uncomfortable thing for a lot of people to do. That’s what massive action looks like, when you’re doing something uncomfortable, because you want to grow, because your goal is to stay focused on your goal to be a better manager and you’ve got to do the uncomfortable thing to get there. That’s what it looks like. But a lot of people get stuck in the passive action because it is more comfortable. You’re not risking anything by taking intellectual action. And when you get stuck in passive action, that’s when you spin out. That’s when you don’t get anywhere. That’s when you get frustrated. 

I’m sure we’ve all had this. I know I’ve had this so I’m sure you’ve had this, too. The boss who can’t make a decision. I had this boss once. We had a very, at one point in time, a very fear-driven culture at McDonald’s. You weren’t allowed to make a mistake. That was the excuse I used and a lot of people use it. You were afraid to make a mistake, because every time you made a mistake, people would freak out. But it’s actually possible to manage up a little bit to allow some space for you and your team to try stuff. 

But I had this boss who was afraid to make a mistake, let’s just say that. And it would drive me crazy, because every time we had something that we needed to do, a decision that needed to be made, he would just be like, Ask these people what they think, or just do a bit more research here. Can you pull the numbers to understand this? He would constantly be spinning us around in intellectual action because he was afraid of making the decision and taking a chance because we might fail, and then he might get in trouble. That’s staying stuck in passive action. 

Or maybe even a more relatable one, too if you’ve never had a boss like that. Have you ever decided you’re going to start a new hobby? I’m trying to think how many years ago this was. It must have been like 20 years ago now. I decided I wanted to make my parents at the time a 40-year anniversary scrapbook of all their lives together. I had this mission. So I went out and I bought all the stuff like all the tools, all this paper, all the scrapbooks. And I did the 40th anniversary one. 

But then I was going to do one for all my vacations and my life with my husband and all these kinds of things. I guess it was less than 20 years ago, maybe it was like 15 years ago, anyway, not relevant. But you buy all the stuff, and you’re going to be the most amazing scrapbooker. Or you’re going to be this amazing cook, and you buy all the knives or you’re going to exercise and you buy the treadmill and you buy all the Lululemon clothes and all the things. But then you don’t do it. 

You take all the passive action to buy all the stuff and get ready, but then you don’t actually ever step on the treadmill. You never actually learn to cut with that knife or you don’t actually do all the scrapbooks that you plan to do. I have this massive case full of scrapbook stuff that is collecting dust in my closet. I don’t know why I’m afraid to scrapbook but it’s a lot of work. I think I was afraid of the amount of work it was plus now, I can just build an Apple book. Times have changed a little bit on the scrapbooking side. 

But my point is, if you want to be successful, you have to be willing to be unsafe. You have to be willing to do the hard thing. That’s what massive action is. That’s what it means to keep taking action until you get to your goal. Massive Action is the process of anticipating obstacles, and being willing to fail, try again, and then fail, and then have people judge you and then fail, and then take more action, and then do it wrong, and be disappointed, and then try again. 

Then have your friends tell you to stop doing it. And your mom calls you and says, What are you doing?, or your boss says, I’m not sure if this is a good idea. But then you try again and you change strategies and you try again, and on and on and on until you reach your goal. You do not stop for any reason until you get to your goal. I’m not saying you need to do the same things over and over. I’m not talking about banging your head against a wall. There’s that definition of insanity. Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. I’m not talking about that. 

I’m saying, you fail, you assess, you fail, you assess, you try again. You fail, you assess, you try again. You are always rethinking and changing the process, trying new things, and keeping what worked and fixing what didn’t work until you get to your goal. This is a very difficult thing to do for all people. There’s people that do it. It doesn’t make it easy just because they’ve done it. It’s the people who are comfortable. It’s the people who actually learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Those are the people who make this work. 

Because discomfort is the price of your goal. Discomfort is the price of your goal, my friend. The pain, the disappointment, the pushing yourself, the fear, that’s the price of reaching your goal. And I want you to think about your goal. Think about the goal that you have for your career if you know what it is. And if it’s not for your career, think about it in the context of any goal. Why do you want that goal? What’s it going to mean to you to achieve that goal? And is it worth it to feel some pain and some disappointment and get uncomfortable, and pick yourself up when you fall down in order to reach the goal? 

Is it worth it to keep getting on that stage and being the most uncomfortable, sloppy, wobbly presenter there is until one day you’re not? Is it worth it to keep trying and getting better and better if you really want to get to your goal? This is the number one thing I work through with my clients. Helping them find the strength and the thoughts to push them through the discomfort because the only way to your goal is through the discomfort. 

And it’s a frickin mind maze, let me tell you. Your mind is going to be jumping all over the place. But it’s totally possible to find your way through. You’re taking massive action when you keep your sights on your goal. And you’re willing to do anything to get there, you’re willing to try all the different ways, you’re willing to fail, and tweak and keep getting up again, and keep falling down and keep getting up again until you hit your desired results. 

One of the things I’m learning on my own journey through all of this was building my own business. My career with McDonald’s, losing weight, all the things is not just pushing myself through, but giving myself the emotional space to make mistakes. Because a lot of the time, the hardest part through this whole thing is that every time you make a mistake, you beat the shit out of yourself for doing it. You tell yourself all the bad things. So it’s, I’m weak, I’m not capable, I’m not smart enough, I’ll never be able to do this. 

You put yourself down so much that it’s really hard to see the path forward. But part of this journey of being uncomfortable and picking yourself up is to push all that aside and just say, You know what, I am going to fail my way through this. I’m going to do a lot of things, ‘wrong.’ I’m going to not always reach my expected outcome and everything that I do, which is essentially the definition of failure. And you know what? That’s okay. I’m just going to keep moving forward. Even if I want to take three steps forward, and I only take one step forward today, I’m still moving forward. No big deal. The point is to just keep moving forward, no matter how uncomfortable it feels. 

This is much easier to do when you’re doing it like for someone else like a project at work, or you’re doing it with someone else’s money, you’re helping someone else reach their goals, you’re mentoring someone, you’re coaching someone, or you’re managing someone. But when you’re doing it for yourself, it’s a little harder. That’s why you generally need help from someone to keep trying until you become that inspirational leader, to keep improving until you get the promotion, or to get that awesome job at that company that you’ve always wanted to work for, or until you’re a strong enough presenter to be the keynote on that massive stage that you want it to be on, to keep applying for jobs until you get the job that you want or to make a million dollars in your business, or whatever it is that you want to do. 

Taking massive action is a rare thing. The willingness to feel the discomfort is actually what separates as I said, the goal achievers from the gold dreamers. Anybody can do it. You don’t have to be some kind of a freaking unicorn. Oprah is not a unicorn. JK Rowling is not a unicorn. Jeff Bezos isn’t a unicorn, necessarily. These people aren’t unicorns. They just keep going when the going gets tough.

There’s another great example. Another great saying is when the going gets tough, the tough get going. That sounds awesome, sounds so logical. Try and do it. So that’s what I have. It doesn’t get any simpler than that but that doesn’t make it easy. This is what I teach people. It’s to how to get to the other side. The only way to the other side is through and through is uncomfortable. And dealing with all the things, all of the mind maze, the sabotage, the imposter syndrome, the excuses, the time, the bullshit that your brain is going to throw at you. That’s why you need a coach because it’s really hard to do on your own. But that’s okay. You just have to decide if it’s worth it to you to get to the other side or not. 

Because at the end of the day, the only way you truly fail is if you quit is if you quit your goal. The only way you truly fail is if you quit your goal. So when you take massive action, you will fall on your face again and again. You will be pushed up against all the obstacles and forced to try big things. You will fail fast. When you’re taking passive action, there’s no risk involved. You’re hiding. And you can avoid failure that way. But massive action typically involves embarrassing moments in front of large groups of people. 

And dealing with that, you will fail where everyone can see you fail. And you know what? I totally encourage that. Fail hard, fail fast, and do it where all the world can see you do it. And then keep taking action until you get the results that you want. That my friends is the way that you get the results that you want and you achieve all the goals that you have for yourself in your career and beyond your career. 

If you want help doing that, please come talk to me. I love doing that. This is my jam. This is what I have for you this week, my friends. I hope you found it useful. 

I’ll talk to you next week. Bye for now. 



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I have 20+ years working as a leader in the corporate world. I know what you need to do. And I combine that with four years of training as a cognitive behavioral coach. I know how to help you naturally think like the leader you want to be.

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Mel Savage

I have 20+ years working as a leader in the corporate world. I know what you need to do. And I combine that with four years of training as a cognitive behavioral coach. I know how to help you naturally think like the leader you want to be.
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