From Your Career Game by Nathan Bennett and Stephen A. Miles (www.yourcarecrvanie.com). Copyright 2010 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. Published by Stanford University Press (www.sup.org).
ONCE A CAREER is understood as a game involving players who compete for opportunities, the natural next question concerns how to become a better player. We suggest that the key to developing ability as a career game player is career agility.
Career-agile individuals have high emotional intelligence, are politically savvy, are comfortable with uncertainty and risk, and thus demonstrate high degrees of successful portability from position to position over time. Great players of the career game are often modest, and most minimize their own role in their success. In our experience, the most common explanation that executives will offer for their personal success is that they were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Of course, as the Roman philosopher Seneca observed long ago, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."
Agile executives understand how to navigate to the intersection of preparedness and opportunity. Whereas a concerted effort to do so would likely uncover some...