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Mastering the Game

Sharon E. Jones with Sudheer R. Poluru

By Strategies for Career Success
13-minute read
Audio available
Mastering the Game by Strategies for Career Success

Mastering the Game (2018) aims to level the playing field for women and people of color in the world of business – the traditional purview of white men. This book lays bare the unwritten rules of the game and outlines strategies diverse professionals can use to get unstuck at work.

  • People who have felt marginalized at work
  • Social activists who want to create a fairer and more inclusive world
  • Allies who want to be even more empathetic

Sharon E. Jones is a lawyer and consultant with decades of experience navigating the vagaries of the white male-dominated workplace. Her career has taken her from private law firms to the US government to running her own diversity consultancy.

Sudheer R. Poluru is an MBA candidate at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is also an inclusion specialist at Jones Diversity, Sharon E. Jones’s diversity consultancy.

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Mastering the Game

Sharon E. Jones with Sudheer R. Poluru

By Strategies for Career Success
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Mastering the Game by Strategies for Career Success
Synopsis

Mastering the Game (2018) aims to level the playing field for women and people of color in the world of business – the traditional purview of white men. This book lays bare the unwritten rules of the game and outlines strategies diverse professionals can use to get unstuck at work.

Key idea 1 of 8

Intentionality is a crucial first step on the road to success. 

It’s easy to get distracted – and demoralized – by focusing on things you can’t control. But in every situation, there’s something you can have an impact on. Every choice you make has the potential to make a difference, and professional success only happens when you approach your career in an intentional way.

There are two steps to implementing an intentional mindset. First, define what success means to you.

This can be more difficult than it sounds. External validation is important for all of us. At one point in her career, the author decided she wanted the top legal job at a corporation: General Counsel. It’s a prestigious job that pays well, she reasoned, and was a logical next step in her career as a lawyer. But after two unsuccessful interviews, she realized she didn’t actually want the job. Her version of success was doing work that made her happy, not work that others thought was impressive.

Your definition of success might not stay the same for long – it’s normal for it to change as it reflects your stage of life, relationships and family, and personal priorities. And it’s important to remember that happiness doesn’t automatically come with success; in fact, it may be the other way around. Studies by positive psychologists at Harvard show that our brains are 31 percent more productive when we’re feeling content. Therefore, a good strategy for achieving more long-term success is prioritizing your short-term happiness.

The next step to implementing an intentional approach to your success is goal-setting. Envision where you want to be 5, 10, 20 years in the future. Then work backward, figuring out how you’ll get there.

George Doran’s SMART goal strategy has been helping people set personal goals since 1981. As you might have guessed, it’s an acronym. Your goals should be: specific, meaningful, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. When executing your plans, you should both evaluate your goals and readjust as needed.

To hold yourself accountable, write down your goals. Also, share your goals with a friend who can help you track your progress.

But there’s more to mental preparation than intentionality. In the next blink, we’ll learn how to stay several moves ahead in any professional setting.

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