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    Women Business Leaders: Insight from Chris Rock on Learning New Skills

    In an article about comedian Chris Rock’s foray into acting in a Broadway show, Jodi Glickman notes that even though Chris is at the top of his game in comedy, he has the ambition to learn and hone another skill outside of his comfort zone. Says Chris, ”You’re not going to get by on just being popular. I’m just trying to learn and get better.”

    We enter a danger zone when we become bored or static in our professional and personal life. I understand that as women business leaders and entrepreneurs, we are bound by having to earn a living – but I think there is always an opportunity for developing new skills and following a new passion.

    Jodi has come up with four suggestions anyone can follow to explore new professional directions:

    Why not take a skill you excel at and use it in another way? Jodi explains that sometimes stepping outside your niche or comfort zone can spur you to explore new professional horizons. If you’ve worked as a newsroom reporter but feel an entrepreneurial pull, try working for a start-up and re-route your skills to encompass corporate communications.

    Jodi uses the example of basketball, where one of the ways players are ranked is by their “assists.” This is a great example of how teamwork really makes a difference to the outcome of a game. She notes that sometimes taking on a job or responsibility that isn’t necessarily part of your corporate plan can end up boosting your image and professional standing just because you offered to assist and tried something different.

    Redirect unwanted work
    If your career or professional drive has flat-lined, says Jodi, it’s time to shake things up. Rather than just stew about it, Jodi suggests you ask for more challenging or stimulating projects. Offer to go the extra mile and present your case as a long-term interest in using your talents to not only challenge yourself, but to help the company move forward as well.

    Make a point of seeking out the movers and shakers in your company or industry. Volunteer to serve on the same committees or projects to raise your visibility with these key influencers. It may take time, Jodi notes, but eventually you’ll gain valuable knowledge and insight from being around these well-connected individuals.

    You may feel as if you are in uncharted territory, but that’s the exciting and challenging part.  I like Jodi’s closing comment, “Make it your priority to continually learn and push yourself to new heights professionally.” For more on being a better woman business leader read my blog, “Things Successful Women Business Leaders do Differently.” To see Jodi’s original article, click on this link: “Why Chris Rock is on Broadway, Or How to Learn New Skills.”


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