The world is filled with smart, talented, and hardworking people whose careers get stuck. Are you feeling like one of them?
Despite what most career self-help books would tell you, getting unstuck is about more than motivation. For the past decade, Silicon Valley executive and leadership coach Abhijeet Khadilkar has been helping some of the most driven, entrepreneurial and creative people in the world to unlock their potential and accelerate their careers. In this book, he reveals what it really takes to find your own North Star for personal growth.
Unlock! is filled with templates, guides and a framework for the seven crucial steps anyone can use to unlock their potential as a leader, even during a recession (or a global pandemic). From a guide to learning how to take advantage of market trends to advice on how to build on your existing strengths, the insights in this book will help you start turning the flywheel of career growth to create value for your organization, community, AND yourself.
Written in an easy-to-access style, Unlock! includes strategies, work examples, and practical exercises as well as reflections useful at any stage of your career. The path to building a more fulfilling career is ahead, and this book is the guide you need to unlock your true leadership potential.
Unlock’s 7 Step Process shows you how to set your career goals, yet make them adaptable to the ever-changing business world. They show you how to become a stronger leader in the workplace, contributing to advancement and opportunities you never would have thought possible.
* The North Star guides you toward what you really want to do and who you would like to become. Once you complete this step, you’ll have a strong light to point out your path to success.
* Discovery allows you to uncover new career opportunities based on your existing skills and new skills you may acquire in the future. You’ll have a lens to re-imagine the bucket of skills and experience you already have.
* Horizon shows you how to align your career path with market trends. Discover near term and long range trends that move you from chasing the market to leading it.
* Resolve prompts you to make decisions based on facts and commit to those decisions professionally and emotionally. You’ll know how to include the most important factors of your life into your career decisions.
* Moniker demonstrates how to build a professional brand, both online and off. You’ll be able to control other people’s perceptions of who you are—even before they meet you.
* Elevate provides a roadmap for your first 90 days in your new career or company position. Through a series of recurring activities, you’ll accelerate your career growth and expertise using a compounding effect.
* Reinvent allows you to take some time to reflect and regroup. You’ll have a plan to prepare for that all-important annual review, as well as being able to analyze what is working and what isn’t, and adjust accordingly.
These seven steps guide you in an unerring direction to your own personal north star of career success. By examining yourself using the templates provided to you via a QR code, you can create a career that is satisfactory on many different levels.
Unlock! is the book you need right now to unlock your true potential. Full of powerful exercises for you to transform yourself into an exception leader, the book is also easy to read and follow. If you are ready to accelerate your life and career, RIGHT NOW, grab this book and get going!
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About the Author
He is also an advisor to multiple startups: Quark.ai and Otomashen.
Before this, he held several leadership roles at Cisco, Deloitte, and Cognizant.
In 2010, he founded CareerTiger, an online service that helps tech professionals to uplevel their careers and unlock their true potential.
He is the author of the upcoming book Unlock! 7 steps to transform your career and realize your true potential.
He is an industry speaker, featured in print and online media, and he has an undergraduate degree from Shivaji University, India. He is a mentor at Santa Clara University, Audvisor, and other platforms.
Abhijeet lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wonderful wife, who is a teacher, and their two boys who are sports fanatics and aspiring Shark Tank participants.
Table of Contents
Unlock! from the C0VID19 Situation 1
Part A Becoming a Leader 7
Chapter 1 The Leadership Switch 9
Chapter 2 Who Should Read This Book? 13
Chapter 3 The Journey is the Destination 17
Chapter 4 Why Do I Want You to Have a Leadership Career? 27
Chapter 5 7 Steps to Unlock! 37
Part B Preparation 45
Chapter 6 Ikigai: The Purpose-Driven Leader 47
Chapter 7 Leadership is Not a Title 51
Chapter 8 Caution, Mindset Shift Required 55
Chapter 9 Do You Know Who You Are? 59
Chapter 10 Triple Down on Your Strengths 65
Chapter 11 T-Shaped Skills Framework 69
Chapter l2 The Market Framework 75
Part C Strategy 81
Chapter 13 North Star: Your Strategy for Success 85
Chapter l4 Discovery: Endless Possibilities 103
Chapter l5 Horizon: Capture Market Trends 113
Chapter l6 Resolve: Make Bold Career Decisions 125
Part D Your Personal Brand 135
Chapter 17 Moniker: Define Your Personal Brand 137
Part E Execution 147
Chapter 18 Elevate Leadership Fywheel 149
Chapter 19 Build Competencies 151
Chapter 20 Exceed Expectations 165
Chapter 21 Transmit Leadership Behavior 175
Chapter 22 Tell Your Story 207
Chapter 23 Expand Your Network 213
Chapter 24 Run (Don't Walk!) Toward Growth Opportunities 219
Part F Renew 231
Chapter 25 Reinvent 233
Part G Putting It All Together 241
Chapter 26 Take Action 243
What People are Saying About This
“Stuck? Unlock! offers practical advice to professionals who need to jumpstart their careers. If you believe that your career growth is your #1 job, do yourself a favor and pick up this book. The frameworks and recommendations provided in Unlock! equip you to move quickly from frustration to action, while Khadilkar’s to-the-point style make this a compelling, as well as immensely useful read.”
Jonathan Copulsky, author of “The Technology Fallacy”, former CMO, Deloitte Consulting, and faculty member, Northwestern University
“It has been a joy to watch Abhijeet over the years as he raised the bar for himself while raising the bar for everyone else he touched. Abhijeet has an unique ability to help others discover their unique abilities - with that he has helped people shape their careers for the better. Unlock! Is where he has packaged his wisdom to bring this positive change at scale. Get a copy to change your life and get one more to change the life of someone you care.”
Rajesh Setty, co-founder of Audvisor, author of Six Foot World and 15 other books
“Abhijeet is an absolute treasure. One of my favorite things about this book is that he writes openly about the importance of mindset, which in my opinion is one of the top two indicators of success (along with emotional intelligence).”
Johanna Lyman, CEO of Next Gen Orgs and president of Bay Area Chapter of Conscious Capitalism
“When Abhijeet gives you advice, you listen. I do. Abhijeet is one of the most focused, committed, result- oriented yet helpful professionals I have come across. Supplement his passion for excellence with his knowledge and experience, and you get an unbeatable package—a concoction which invigorates you and forces you to think. I have had the privilege of working with Abhijeet directly on consulting assignments for global technology firms and to listen to his perspectives on work and on life. He is lively and authentic, and his guidance is pragmatic and applied readily to professional settings. I have had the privilege of reading parts of this book, and it has a clear stamp of Abhijeet’s charm and wit. Must read!”
Aashish Chandorkar, leading management consultant, columnist, and bestselling author of
The Fadnavis Years
“Managing your career is your most important job. But oftentimes it is hard to get started in our personal transformation journeys; too many questions and too much uncertainty cloud our vision. There are lots of armchair experts who dispense career advice, but moving from talk to action is difficult. I had the pleasure of working with Khadilkar early in his career, and over time witnessed his own transformation into a tech leader and (reluctant) career coach. In Unlock! he synthesizes a very practical, seven-step approach to define your personal strategy from his experience and shows you how to execute it to become the leader you are meant to be.”
Alejandro Danylyszyn, principal, Deloitte Consulting
“Abhijeet has continued to strive for doing not only what's best for business but also honing his leadership skills to bring out the best in his team.”
Joe Pinto, chief customer experience officer, Pure Storage
“It is a common misconception in many graduate business programs that management and leadership are synonyms. Oftentimes, the tools and methodologies are oriented strictly toward the mechanics of management such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. As the workplace and the workforce evolve to ever more decentralized, remote, and autonomous architectures, good management hygiene will no longer suffice. It has to be combined with the core of good leadership—learning from failure, driving a culture of lessons learned, creating an environment of rapidly forming adaptive teams united by a common purpose, and, most importantly, building trust. Unlock! provides a real-world approach to developing strategies to unlock team potential through the practical application of leadership principles. Trust Abhijeet to provide an innovative framework that helps you to figure out: where you want to go in your career, develop leadership skills, and build a personal brand, critical things you need to be successful in the 2020+ world. Investing in yourself always pays off, Unlock! is your career investment tool."
Tom Berghoff, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience at Cisco
“A practical handbook of tools, advice, and a step by step action plan, that will help you to unleash the leader within you, will skyrocket your career potential. It will put you on the path to have a more happy, fulfilled, and balanced life.
During the past two decades, I have pleasantly observed Abhijeet growing from a young software quality engineer to a successful management consultant in digital transformation, a successful entrepreneur, and now an author.
Abhijeet has always walked the talk, and in Unlock! he takes his life + career lessons into an easy to read, usable and valuable resource as a way of giving back to the community especially in these disruptive times.”
Danis Yadegar, Serial Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, Managing Partner at WeMax Innovation Capital and former CEO, Arsin Corp