Hello SOTGC community,
I have been reading Emily Bennington’s book “Who Says It’s A Man’s World” this week in preparation for interviewing her. I have to say, I am NOT normally the “cover to cover” type person. I’d like to blame it on my ADD and say it’s because I lack the focus to make it through an entire book…but that would be a lie. Normally I get about 20 pages into a book and think “OK…you’re are saying the SAME thing over and over again and I GET IT!!!!”
Not so with this book. Don’t let the title fool you, this is not just another “Rah Rah ladies we can DO it” type of book. I’ve been emailing with the publicist from AMACOM books who reached out to me to do the interview, and asked if it would be OK to do some posts (in the similar thread to the (The Hunger Games of Business posts) to introduce you to some of the concepts in Emily’s book, then launch our Skype interview. She agreed, so here is the first one, which I titled after a Football term.
For those of you not familiar with Football, or this term, it’s defined as follows: Blitz: A defensive strategy in which a linebacker or defensive back vacates his normal responsibilities in order to pressure the quarterback. The object of a blitz is to tackle the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage or force the quarterback to hurry his pass.
On page 17 of the book there is a short story from Valerie Gelb, former executive vice president/chief sales development officer of MasterCard. When Valerie started her career at MasterCard she lived half way across the nation from the corporate headquarters. Each time her boss would be asked to go to corporate for a big meeting, she would come up with a helpful and creative reason why she also needed to go. It didn’t take long for Valerie to create a very positive and visible reputation throughout the organization. Had she just sat back, done her normal “job responsibilities” and not put herself out there, she might not have moved up the corporate ladder as quickly as she did.
Same thing in Football. You never see a defensive linebacker take his position on the line of scrimmage, watch the snap, and then sit there scratching his ass while another player on the opposite team races by him and scores. You also never see this linebacker go racing up to the referee with “Hey Ref!!! I was lined up RIGHT where I am supposed to be, and THAT GUY went racing past me and scored!!!! That’s not fair!!!!” No…his coach calls a blitz, and that linebacker vacates his “normal responsibilities” and races towards his opponent’s quarterback hoping to either sack him or at least hurry his pace which could lead to him screwing up.
I’m not saying your focus should be on making your co-workers or competition screw up. I’m more focusing on the “vacate your normal responsibilities” to create opportunities for yourself. So the purpose of this post, is, in your career, no one is going to hand you the football for you to run in and score with. You take the role as the “coach of your career” and you call a blitz. You rush and create those opportunities, lest they be taken from you (or worse) you stand there scratching your ass and just doing your “normal responsibilities” and watch as someone else takes that promotion that you feel you should have. So ladies…? You ready to line up on that line of scrimmage? Do you have the quarterback (goal) in sight…? You ready to blitz?!