Two conversations that changed my career trajectory

This week we are looking at two conversations that played an outsized role in turning around two low points of my career. 

Run in your lane

As a struggling AE, I convinced myself that others’ success was a factor of luck and that I was a victim of poor circumstances. I blamed my territory. I compared the quality of my inbound leads to the inbounds my peers received. I searched for any reason to blame my failures on factors outside of my control. 

My VP noticed these negative traits and gave me advice we’ve all heard before, “Run in your lane. Focus on what you control and stop worrying about competing with others.” 

I found this advice hard to apply. I was competitive. I was being “stack-ranked” by performance. Comparing myself to my peers felt natural, and finding excuses for poor performance protected my ego. 

A switch flipped when I realized that all that time wasted worrying about how others were “unfairly” finding success was time I wasn’t creating my own. 

When I stopped caring about how my territory, inbounds, and other external factors compared to others, I found myself doing more with the resources I was afforded.

“When you are stressed, the entire team knows, and it brings us down.”

The first few quarters of my leadership tenure were rough. We were missing quota, individuals on the team were struggling, and I wasn’t sure I could turn it around. 

I thought I was masking my concerns and acting as the “fearless leader” I thought my team would need. I knew I was wrong when a trusted member of my team told me in a 1:1 that my stress was apparent and contagious. 

I immediately started to focus on how I wanted my team to feel when I was around. Regardless of how my day was, my goal was to help my team have a great one. 

This focus led to improved team morale and energy. Performance followed.

TL;DR summary:

  • Run in your lane – don’t exhaust yourself with comparisons. Teddy Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Kyle Asay says, “Comparison is also the thief of productivity.” 🙂 
  • Be conscious of how you make people around you feel. Creating an environment of positivity leads to quantifiable success. 

– Kyle


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