What’s next? Where will you go from here?

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From the time I was a little girl, one of my favorite questions has always been “what’s next?”  I want a new challenge, a new opportunity, a new friend.  I’m always looking around the corner for the What’s Next.   I’ve never been satisfied with the status quo, with sitting quietly, or staying where I’m put.  This probably drove my parents a bit crazy at times.  My Mom would lament that I was the busiest child of her five – the one who was into everything.  (Those of you who know me well are probably thinking – some things never change.) Lord knows what they had to bribe me with to get me to sit still long enough to get my picture taken with Grandma Marie.  (Yes, she’s the one in the hat.  I’m the one whose feet don’t touch the floor.)

When I left ASBA last December, many of my friends called and emailed, asking “What’s Next?”  They’d seen the press release or the news articles stating my intention to “focus on new opportunities in 2009 including “a more active role at RiboMed Biotechnologies, Inc. where she has served on the board of directors since 2007.”  (BTW – when we talk about What’s Next – there is not a better example with all the break through that are happening there as they are developing new tests and tools for early cancer detection!)

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So, I have spent the last few months doing just that – focusing on new opportunities and I am glad to report they are all around us.  The trick is to recognize them when they occur and to make the most of them. 

To do this, I am trying to practice what we preach at CorePurpose, Inc.   So many times, I have stood in front of an audience and gone through the focusing drill.  Helping them to find their CorePurpose® by linking what they are passionate about – to what they are great at – identifying the linkages people will actually pay them for – and then tying it all back to the values they will employ as they pursue their goals.  Now it was my turn to do just that.

Step One required some introspection, some observation, and some questioning of those around me.  Great coaches like Lillian Coury are helping me answer the question while talented friends like Mark Dallmeier have shared insights and instruments to help me recognize the right growth opportunities to match my skills, talents, and aspirations.

Step Two was answering the questions:

  1. What am I passionate about?    Helping companies and people Grow and making a difference in my professional and private life. 
  2. What am I really good at?  Motivating people.  Building high potential, innovative solutions with existing resources.  Finding new resources when needed.  Connecting with people, developing them, and building teams. 
  3. What will people pay me for?  (Sometimes I hate this one, but if you can not monetize it in some way it’s a hobby, not a business.)   Speaking, Consulting, Leadership inside their company or organization.
  4. What are my valuesPeople matter, Acceleration – nothing happens when you are standing still, Promises – keep them, Excellence – If you are not the best – find out who is and get them on board, Results – you can’t succeed without them.

So tying them all together.  What’s next? 

For me, the perfect What’s Next is to acquire or join a company that’s poised to grow.  A leadership position where my skills and talents will take the team where they want to go – or better yet beyond it.  I’m still looking.  But in between, I’m having a blast exploring all the exciting opportunities that are around us.  Speaking to audiences, growing my company, helping others realize their goals, and sharing ideas about how we can innovate, seize opportunities, and turn things around. 

If you are still reading at this point – I have a challenge for you.  Go through the same exercise yourself.  Answer the four questions then tie them together to determine “What’s next?” for you.  And if you would – post a comment and let me know.

That’s all for now,

Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

CorePurpose® is a registered trademark of CorePurpose, Inc.

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