Who Do You Go To?

Last month, we talked about career derailers, and this month is dedicated to advancing your career by aligning your relationships with your goals. Whether you are building a work team, a network of trusted advisors and / or selecting mentors, it’s essential that you choose wisely. Ironically, a friend, advisor, and customer (all the same person) invited me to a luncheon last month that tied into this topic. The key note was a Wall Street veteran Carla Harris, one of the most successful and respected women in business today.  Carla shared her strategies for thriving in the workplace at the Women’s Fund of Omaha’s 11th Annual Fall Luncheon.  

I’m honored to pass on my interpretation of Carla’s “pearls of wisdom”. 

You can’t do it alone. In order to reach your full potential you need advisors, mentors, sponsors, and team mates. 

  • Advisors understand the dynamics and technical nature of your work. You take professional advice from these smarty pants and eventually you share a tid-bit with them.
  • Mentors are people you share your personal good, bad, and ugly stories with. They will help you regain emotional intelligence.
  • Sponsors sit at the table and go to bat for you when that promotion decision is being made. You share all the benefits and value you want to give with your sponsors so they have all the ammunition they need to pound a fist on the conference room table on your behalf when all the chips are down.

Be self-aware.  Ask your network about how you are perceived.  Listen and be open to change! This is how people deal with you.

Take risks. If you are under 35 you probably fear failure, so you stay in your comfort zone. If you are over 35, you may think it’s too late to reach your full potential because you are juggling a family, career, etc.  Who has time to live in the fear zone? Everyone should take a little risk now and then.

Be authentic. It’s impossible to build genuine relationships if you don’t bring the real you to the meeting. 

Carla’s wisdom aligns with all the leaders I admire including my Dad who said, “Surround yourself with people smarter than you are.” -Bruce Carlson

It’s that simple! 


Chris Carlson, Aureus Group Regional Manager, CPC

About Chris Carlson
Chris is an experienced executive in the staffing industry. She has extensive experience in developing and implementing operational analyses and programs and has assisted hundreds of firms streamline processes and upgrade the competencies of its workforce. Finding innovative ways to generate new business and build teams is her passion. She has developed and executed many successful strategic marketing plans. Chris began her career at Aureus Group, a full-service professional recruiting firm, in 1994 and currently serves as the regional manager of Aureus Group specializing in the Finance & Accounting, Systems and Executive search areas.


In addition, Chris is a Certified Professional Consultant, and has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


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