Over the course of a dynamic career, there will be plenty of opportunities to jump to the next level … if you capitalize and perform. Some of those inflection points take a while to develop. Others happen in a flash.
I’ll never forget the first time I appeared for an interview live on CNN. That was nearly two decades ago when CNN dominated national cable news. I was terrified.
The training session with the PR folks went horribly. I looked like a deer in headlights. I couldn’t sleep the night before. All I could think of was that every employee at my company, every VC, every CEO who might ever consider hiring me, would see it. I could blow up my entire career in the space of five minutes.
Then came the day of. Showtime. Sitting in a chair in a soundproof room with that remote feed camera trained on me – all those monitors with my face plastered all over the screen in the background and the voice of a famous news anchor in my ear – I became strangely focused on the task at hand.
And I knocked it out of the park.
A few months later I did a CNBC interview, as well. Then National Semiconductor acquired our microprocessor company, Cyrix, for $650 million. When I met National’s CEO, he shook my hand, looked me in the eye, and said, “I’ve seen you on CNBC. You were very credible.”
I became National’s VP of corporate marketing after the merger. So I was right. Those live cable news interviews were make-or-break moments. Go figure.
When I later quit the corporate world to start my boutique management consulting business, I never suspected there were any of those inflection points left in my career. I was so wrong about that it isn’t funny.
Today marks the launch of my first book. The culmination of an entire year working pretty much seven days a week, not to mention seven previous years of writing columns. I’m exhausted. And while there’s not so much on the line as there was back in the day, it still feels like a make-or-break moment. Guess we’ll see if I knocked this one out of the park.
Join me live on Periscope today from 4 – 5 PM PST (7 – 8 PM EST). I’ll be talking about the book, showing you around the Santa Cruz Mountains where I live and work, and answering any and all questions via @stevetobak #RealLeaders. Can’t wait.
(Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda photo credit CNN)