• Jackie Capers-Brown

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Updated: Jun 19

You cannot wait for the “ideal” circumstances to appear before you take action towards making a dream in your heart a reality.

As long as we are persistence in our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.
~Denis Waitley~

One of the most important lessons I learned starting from a position of a housekeeper with Marriott Hotels and working my way up through the ranks of management in its Courtyard division, to become an award-winning leader and GM of Marriott’s Fairfield Inn hotel in Wilmington, NC is this, you cannot wait for the “ideal” circumstances to appear before you take action towards making a dream in your heart a reality. You have to prepare and position yourself for the success that you want to experience, and that often requires taking initiative towards a goal versus waiting and hoping that your talent is discovered.

If I had chosen to wait until I “felt” as if I knew “enough” to pursue advancement opportunities with the company, I would have missed out on so many opportunities. Despite the challenges that came with parental responsibilities, I possessed a burning desire to provide my children with a working example of what it takes to experience greater wellbeing, regardless if you come from humble beginnings.

My working class parents modeled a strong work ethic, instilled hope and confidence in my heart and nurtured a resiliency that continues to serve me well under the weight of several setbacks and adversities which included moving beyond my grief from their deaths, both of which happened before I was twenty years-old. With faith in God, I began to take steps of faith that led to the evolving of my leadership career with Marriott and today, my experiences of leadership with Marriott, Burger King and Pizza Hut serve as a the source of inspiration for me to build a successful small business enterprise.

In today’s marketplace, individuals who consistently demonstrate that they are willing to immerse themselves into an organization and contribute their knowledge, skills and ideas toward its achievement of sustainable success positions themselves to experience greater workplace achievement and success. An individual whose primary focus is on what an organization can do for them diminishes their workplace opportunities for growth and advancement.

The following are three essential keys that empowered me with the inspiration and courage to unleash my potential and build the personal mastery habits that enabled me to rise above the odds and become an award-winning leader from such humble beginnings:

1. Be a Life-time Learner

Regardless of how much information you gather from the Internet or how many degrees that you possess, information is becoming irrelevant in shorter spans of time so you will need to commit to becoming a life-time learner to remain relevant in the marketplace.

It is crucial for anyone who is striving to create and build upon professional achievements to accept this reality and make it their business to create a professional development plan for their career that includes additional learning that he or she will engage to sharpen and develop their skills.

2. Seek Opportunities to Grow

If you sit back and expect for other people to acknowledge and value your talent before you do, you will be waiting. Your professional career and success is your responsibility. If the organization that you are currently working for doesn’t have advancement opportunities and you believe you’re ready to take on more, speak to your immediate supervisor about cross-training opportunities that will provide you with additional exposure and training so that when an opportunity arises, you will be at the top of the minds of decision makers in the organization.

Don’t discount the value of volunteering with community organizations. Many volunteers are well-connected members of your community and they could possibly help in your search for greater professional opportunities.

3. Be a Leader

If you haven’t paid attention, individuals who work in positions of leadership are often the most highly paid employees in most companies. Don’t shy away from leadership responsibilities. If you feel you don’t have the confidence to lead, remember, leadership is a skill that can be developed over time. Leaders are made, not born. Leadership positions provide you opportunities to grow your influence and impact on the success of your organization.

If your company does not offer on-the-job-training for those aspiring to become leaders, that should not stop you from developing your leadership skills. Look into leadership development programs offered in your area by colleges and various organizations. For the value it provides in terms of developing your communication skills, confidence and leadership skills as well as connecting with professionals from all walks of life, I highly recommend that you visit a few of your local Toastmasters club.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

Only as high as I reach can I grow,

Only as far as I seek can I go,

Only as deep as I look can I see,

Only as much as I dream can I be.

~Karen Ravn

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