Coaching Senior Leaders For the Next Level
Prioritizing success and surpassing expectations in one’s current position is always the foremost concern for a leader. In today’s fast-paced business landscape, many leaders find themselves entirely consumed by the need to keep up with competition and adapt to the evolving work environment. They also face the challenge of guiding their team to thrive in a hybrid work setting. Unfortunately, amidst these demands, individuals often overlook or sideline their own career growth and fail to comprehend the necessary requirements for advancement and skill development at the next level.
So, how can you ensure that you are actively cultivating the appropriate skills for future leadership while managing your current responsibilities and striving for excellence?
We propose a four-step “Career and Self Reflection” model to guide you:
- Focus on your career by 1st considering where you are today what your values and long-term goals are. Then talk with your leader about what positions and/or experiences may be next for you and a reasonable timing for your advancement. It is also important to understand the skills, behaviors and the process for advancing to the next level. Consider your career as a checkerboard not a ladder building important skills and experiences along the way to reaching your long- term goals.
- Align with your leader on the skills, experiences, and behaviors identified in step one. Surprisingly, many large organizations do not have these important skills and behaviors defined for high level positions. In this case it is important you build and document this list together with your leader.
- Schedule and have a frank conversation (preferably in person) with your leader at least annually about your career, timing of advancement and how you measure up in each of these areas, and which skills or leadership behaviors your leader would like you to improve. Identify collaboratively how you may gain these experiences or improve these skills. Perhaps you are placed on a high-profile strategic planning project to build your strategic planning skills. Or, you may have one or two leadership areas (e.g., collaborating more effectively with peers and direct reports) that need to be resolved and improved before advancing to the next level.
- In either case it’s about identifying and agreeing on what skills and behaviors you want and need to improve and building an action plan that focuses on demonstrating results.
We know that that talking about careers and what is needed for the next level is challenging in many organizations. This is where coaching for the next level comes in.
We have seen very talented leaders stalled in their careers due to a lack of focus on having honest and direct conversations about what’s needed in their careers and the skills and behaviors that may be holding them back and are needed to advance. Don’t let this be you. Very often this can be resolved by making the time, asking the right questions and not being afraid to hear and listen to feedback from not only your leader, but your peers and your direct reports. If you have recognize yourself throughout this read and want to learn more, or be coached for the next level, please contact us below.