What is Your Body of Work?Feb 10, 2024
Its been said that we overestimate what we can accomplish in one year and we severely underestimated what we can accomplish in a decade.
And to save you the time of testing the quote, Im here to tell you it is 100% true! The interesting thing is even though I completely embrace this idea, I am still critical of myself when I miss the short term targets I set for myself and almost dismissive about the growth and contributions I have made over a 10 year span.
How bout you? Have you even reflected on how much your thinking has expanded over the past 10 years, or how your relationships have transformed, or how many life changing experiences you have chalked up?
If the answer is no or even a sheepish "yes, kind of" I give you permission to spend some time thinking through it. and if anyone gives you a hard time just tell em "Jesse said"
If you have known me for more than 3 years, you know that my life has recently transformed in really big ways. But it is still the same in so many ways. Specifically as it relates to my body of work.
I entered the work force in 1995 as a plumbing apprentice and put in a ton of energy to be the best plumber I knew and a fierce discontent for weak leadership began growing. This signaled to folks that I should be a foreman and I applied the same ferocious approach to learning the role and ways to out perform my peers. Somewhere between being a foreman and superintendent I discovered an aptitude and care to teach.
A natural skill of quickly learning new languages helped me maintain strong connections with the install team and build new connections with management. I was able to see the gaps in listening and poorly contextualized processes. And because I spoke the language of the field and the language of the office, I was in a position to tighten up the loose connections.
Back then I did this in a high touch type of way. Meaning in person, face to face, sweating and screaming sometimes.
And somehow that skill set was super transferrable. I have had some pretty fancy titles over the years, been on some ultra sexy projects, and contributed to big transformational efforts. Not because of my credentials, of which I have few, but because of this odd set of skills I have.
Ive seen time and time again, big powerful people unable to build trust. Its the same with regular sized people.
Building trust, connecting people to processes, and making things better for the men and women who do the work is what I have been doing all the while. At the early part of my career I did it in person, in formal positions of authority, in groups, and some times one on one.
Today I do it as an external influencer aka zero formal authority; sometimes virtually, sometimes in person, and very soon through on demand online courses.
And my body of work is consistent and growing.
So this is what I think I know, and if Im wrong Id love for you to tell me what you see as my body of work and what you see as your body of work😉