The 5% secret to powering your career

5% secret powering your career

Keeping up in your career is not enough

I often give speeches and masterclasses on how to power businesses and careers. In every talk, I’ve reminded all of the secret to career longevity and success. Here it is.

What got us here in our careers will not get us there.

Things are changing so fast that it’s a struggle to keep up with it all.

Here’s the bad news. ‘Keeping up’ is not enough. We have to stay one step ahead of change if we are to remain current, at the edge of our industries, relevant, value-adding, a contributor.

Staying one step ahead’ is a big statement. What does it mean? How do we do it? How do we maintain it? And there’s the secret.

All you have to do to stay relevant, wanted, needed, thriving is this:

Know more than 5% than anyone else in the room.

It’s as simple as that.

Stay calm. You don’t need to know 5% more about EVERYTHING!!!  Just focus on your area of expertise — your core capability set — the stuff YOU bring to the party. That’s where you have to keep ensuring you know 5% more than the others in the room. If you can do that, you have a place. You bring value. Colleagues and clients look to you as a font of knowledge, a sage-like figure who understands the mysteries of the future. You know stuff they don’t. You provide a compass-point to be trusted on what to do next, and what not to do.

They’ll want you in the room. They feel something is missing if you’re not there. They won’t be ‘sure’ about a decision unless you’ve been consulted, given that decision relies on what you bring to the party.

So think about what you need to do to keep 5% ahead of the others in the room. What is it for your capability set?

For me, in my Business Advisory area of my business — where I counsel independent communication businesses on growth — going to Cannes every two years keeps me right out there.

I learn stuff, meet people, smell the trends, suck in the learning, grab the ideas, inject inspiration, fill up the tank with insights and ‘sound-grabs’, and come back to my home turf right at the edge of disruption in my industry. It fuels my toolkit and counsel — my ideas and energy. And keeps me in the room another two years.

I do other things too to keep ahead. The list is long. But that’s not the point. Here’s the point:

What do YOU do to keep 5% more knowledgable in your key capability area than anyone else in the room?

Are you doing it consistently, persistently, with relentlessness and vigour?

If not, get started. What got you here won’t get you there. The young guns are coming to eat you. I thumb my nose at them. ‘Catch me if you can,’ I yell at my would-be usurpers, chugging along in the distance behind me.

They haven’t yet. One day they will. But not yet. Not yet.

How about you?

I’m pleased to announce the launch of my book: Savage Oxygen

Savage Oxygen - By Chris Savage

Savage Oxygen is a ‘mobile mentor’ of inspiration for happier, more successful careers. I am hoping for as many younger people as possible to get their hands on a copy. They can take the learnings from 55 years of often painful trial and error experiences of navigating through life and careers, without having to go through the lessons themselves! I wish I had read it when I was 24! To buy the book visit:


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