Cruising on the lazy (career) river?

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In the last school holidays I found myself taking a collection of children to the local swimming pool for some fun on the water slides and in the lazy river.  Ahhh, the lazy river, where the only thing you have to do is keep your head above water and go with the flow.  It's easy.  No need to think or make any deliberate moves.  Just cruise and see where it takes you.  If you see something along the way that takes your fancy, swim sideways and pause for a while, then jump back in.  The river is in charge of what you experience and where you go.  Easy! 

It got me thinking - this is rather like the way many people manage their careers - go with the flow and wait to see what opportunities present.  Not really thinking about whether they want to go in that direction or what they might be missing out on.  Perhaps not really thinking about who they are, what they have to offer, what they want and where they might find it.  Waiting for their boss to offer them the next step.  This isn't a big problem if you happen to be sure you've landed in the right place and are happy, engaged, productive and successful.  But if you've been cruising the lazy river and lack direction or are not happy or successful at work it's a different story.  If it's not you, perhaps you have team members like this who aren't really engaged at work and it's affecting your results, culture and ability to succession plan.  

Is it time for you or your team members to stop cruising on the lazy river, take control and make deliberate, purposeful choices towards a fulfilling role where you can really contribute? 

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