A Marketing Director once told me, “You’re not ready yet, Steve. You need another 12 to 18 months in your current role.”
I took it in good faith. The conversation was regarding my filling a Marketing Manager role, a step up the corporate ladder from where I was. Then the next week, it was announced the person who was taking the job came from sales and had zero brand marketing experience. That was when I learned what the Marketing Director really meant.
“We don’t want to give it to you, Steve. We like this other bloke more…but we’ll tell you something digestible for now.”
Whenever anyone tells you that you aren’t ready yet, it can mean a lot of things – but it has nothing to do with being ready. Why’s that? Because no one is ever ready for anything.
Before anyone is given a chance to shine in a new role, there must be a leap of faith from someone, somewhere. Inside corporations, a great myth is perpetuated by managers that workers win their roles based on qualifications and experience alone. Mostly, managers give opportunities to the people they like, who went to the same school, follow the same football team, wear the right clothes. Someone not too different to them. It’s rarely about competence. If the game of corporate snakes and ladders were about competence, there’d be far fewer instances of CEOs pocketing $10 million to go away quietly because they did a terrible job. The corporate game is very different because what powers its success, the infrastructure, already exists. Most managers are simply riding it.
I haven’t been ready for any of the important milestones and projects I’ve done in my life. But I worked it out as I went along. Unless we are talking about something serious like flying a plane, engineering bridges or performing surgery, being ready is a corporate hoax. Ninety nine times out of a hundred, what needs to be learned can only happen once you are actually doing it. The mistakes we make literally becomes the readiness requirement.
When I built this with Raul, I had no idea what I was doing.
When I wrote my first book, The Great Fragmentation, I had never done that before.
When I wrote the first scripts for The Rebound and appeared on the TV screen, I wasn’t ready.
And now, I’m not ready to 3D print a house with Tom – but I’m doing it anyway.
I have never been ready for anything, and neither will you. So don’t believe them, and don’t wait for it. If someone tells you are not ready yet – it is time to leave.