Chapter 11. Questions That Manage Your Career

Patricia came to us last year, frustrated and worried about the future of her career. We had met her a few months earlier while doing a consulting project for the company where she worked. She had always been a top performer in the organization, so it was no surprise when she was promoted to account management three years ago, where, as key account manager, she oversees top-tier clients. Other managers often seek her advice because of her unique ability to strategically develop new accounts and then manage them effectively. In fact, she was probably the best salesperson the company had in the region.

In the past, Patricia was on top of the world professionally. She was routinely showered with accolades in her performance reviews and was always given extremely positive feedback by upper management. Then, the week before she asked for our help, two events occurred that left her unsure about where her career was headed, and she sought our guidance as to what her next step should be.

The first event occurred via a phone call she received from a former colleague who had started his own company eight years ago. Jose was doing exceptionally well for himself, and Patricia had wisely kept in contact with him. He called her because he wanted to talk about the possibility of her taking the position of senior vice president of sales and marketing at his company. Jose let her know that her experience, track record, and client relationships would be ...

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