How can people of color accelerate their careers? Today’s guest Patrick Carter explains that it wasn’t only his ambition that led to success, but his drive to help and support others like him that led to victory. That and finding the peers, mentor, and sponsor in your industry will lead to success.
Patrick has been in the sales industry for several decades.
- He has sold anything that plugged into a wall, financial services, and now sells furniture.
- Throughout his sales career, he’s learned not just from work itself but also learns from his mentors and people in the room who’ve walked down the same path as him.
How did Patrick accelerate his sales career?
- As he matured in his career, Patrick was introduced to a gentleman named Walter Booker- the first black man Patrick saw in a senior leadership position.
- Walter understood that others observed his actions and attitude in the organization, and he made it his business to see them and give encouragement.
- After meeting Walter, Patrick’s career growth came from his mentality shift from a lone wolf to somebody who gives more than they get.
- Patrick started looking to his peers and giving them the support they needed, and Patrick now looks for and wants to be in a position to mentor and sponsor others.
- Patrick believes that’s where many people of color feel marginalized, especially when people are hired as diversity tokens.
How can you overcome the lone wolf mentality?
- Remember that an open door does not an opportunity make. Just because a door is open, you still need to walk through it and perform.
- If a mentor or sponsor spends their influence opening a door and you underperform, you’ve done a disservice to both you and your sponsor. And that, unfortunately, can close off opportunities for those second, third and fourth in line.
- Recognize that you will need help in sales, and recognize that you need the right team to succeed.
How can someone maybe they’re in an industry where they don’t have many people in leadership that looks like them?
- Social media has allowed us to get outside our silos. You can start a social media relationship where you never actually connect with that person beyond messaging.
- You can get on the phone and speak with someone, even if you meet over social media.
- It’s that “lead the horse to water, but you can’t make them drink” analogy. The water is here and available. At some point, you need to recognize that others are performing at a higher level than you and learn from them.
- Mentoring is a relative term, and you can do it at any point in your career.
Patrick’s major takeaway:
- You don’t have enough time in your career to make all the mistakes you need to. So learn from the mistakes of others.
- By listening to your mentors, following their instructions, and zigging when others zag, you don’t have to suffer all the pitfalls people in front of you suffer.
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