By Nancy Fredericks
Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.thrivewithnancy.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.
For me, a sad part of coaching is meeting women who have put their whole heart and soul into being the best executive ever yet fall short of realizing their expectations. That’s why I do what I do.
I know you must be frustrated with all the hard work, and long hours and lack of results you’ve produced. Oh, I understand you’ve achieved results, just not enough to propel your career into high gear. You’re disappointed especially since your career prospects looked stellar in the beginning.
Regrettably, you may be working from misunderstood “rules of the game” causing you to miss key switch points of change. Turning it around does require honing YOUR next-level EDGE.
It’s knowing what you must cede to someone else that is comfortable and has become your identity. And it also means taking on new skills that you’re probably not good at, perhaps ones that even make you nervous.
There are new EDGES to conquer with each of the following transitions. Keep in mind. We’re focusing on the significant ones to create awareness in generating momentum for other more subtle ones.
Switch Point “Doer” to “Manager”: Until this career juncture, your progress has been a direct result of your own work—your own doing. The game has changed. Now, YOUR SUCCESS EDGE demands you’re generating results through others.
Switch Point “Manager” to “Manager of Multiple Functions”: This is the first time you will manage people who perform a variety of different functions, including work that is unfamiliar to you.
You can no longer rely on your technical knowledge as a primary asset. YOUR SUCCESS EDGE will be dependent on a broader array of strengths: communication, delegation, management, strategic planning, team building, and leadership.
Switch Point “Manager of Multiple Functions” to “Manager of Leaders”: Now, you manage people who, in turn, manage entire functional areas.
YOUR SUCCESS EDGE here is your ability to judge talent and to motivate and guide that talent.
Then, you must rely on their abilities and expertise.
Your core requirement is your willingness and skill at motivating and guiding talent. This focus leads to empowerment rather than delegation and management for your success at this new stage in your career journey.
Switch Point “Manager of Multiple Functions” to “Manager of Leaders”: Empowerment and Vision are your primary roles in leading other leaders. Backing innovative ideas, picking talented people, and spreading those ideas across the company is YOUR SUCCESS EDGE.
Here, your ability to communicate philosophies, concepts and principles (rather than simply priorities, projects, and tasks) is central to your success—and theirs.
Your view of the world is “out into the future,” not today. It is the “big picture,” not how to do it; the “top of the trees,” not each individual tree within the forest.
Your external audiences are equal to your employees in importance. At least half (if not more) of your time and energies will be spent communicating with company outsiders: industry organizations, the press, Wall Street analysts, other Leaders, etc.
Did you receive a sense of recognition as you absorbed the “click” of change crucial in creating continuous momentum when you run smack dab into YOUR next SUCCESS EDGE?
It always feels the same to you…. Stuck, stifled, frustrated, and bored. And it always requires the choice of you leaping for your expansion. I know you’re up to it!
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