If you have been a leader for 15 years, why would you ever need any more leadership training and coaching? I mean, by then, haven’t you learned it all?
It seems logical that a person’s “experience” on the job as a leader is what they should hang their hat on and more training would be redundant.
Yet nothing is further from the truth.
For every new level of leadership you move up to requires you to create a new mental map of yourself and of what you need to accomplish. If you don’t do that, then your brain still operates at it’s old outdated capacity. That would be like moving from a bike to a motorcycle by just adding an engine to the bike that exists—we both know that won’t work.
At the ground floor of leadership, that first promotion is often because you are great at what you do. Management literally likes the results they see from your work.
Each new level of leadership you move up, is less about what you do, and more about how you think and how you help others to do the work. Each new promotion is about 30% more on how you think.
This is why many people go from being a golden child to suddenly drowning on their second or third leadership promotion. They don’t understand how they could go from being revered and praised to being a disappointment.
The problem every time, is that mental model of who they are as a leader never got stretched. You can’t be a Ferrari with a Nissan engine!
Outcome Thinking® is a brain-based methodology we use in all of our coaching and leadership programs. We realize that leaders don’t need an accountability coach or behavior training. What they need is training and coaching that changes their brain patterns and helps them to think, speak, and execute more like a C Level Executive. Read more about our Outcome Thinking® Platinum Program which has specific information about both leadership training and coaching.
So how do you take stock of where you are and where you need to go?
- Look at how much time you are spending on future strategy. You want to spend at LEAST 30% of your time on future strategy, not daily responses to current events happening in your department. You instead want to be thinking further out and actually helping your team become more efficient and effective by removing barriers for them.
- Look at your balance. You should be easily doing your job during the work day. I know, I get there are times where you will work more hours but it should not be the norm. We took one Senior Leader from working 6:30 am to 8 pm daily to working 8:30 am- 6 pm with weekends and nights dedicated now to her family. During that transition of lowering her hours, she was promoted and gained an additional team, yet she was ready for it and her work hours didn’t shift.
- Look at what you do that should be delegated. You should only be working on the things that ONLY you can do. The rest, should be delegated. If you are holding on to tasks because “it is just easier and quicker for you to do them,” then you are operating as a manager and not a leader. Your job is to be the thinker.
- Look at relationships you need to nurture. If you are working strategically, you would be making connections with others in the company that can help your team succeed. Now I am not talking about nurturing relationships of the executives above so you are the darling child. I am talking about building the relationships to further the company and help your department. These relationships are what will have others seeing you as a thought leaders—a person removing barriers and making other people’s live easier.
Having an executive mindset is critical to your growth. And no, you don’t magically get promoted and the next level of thinking just pops in to your brain. It is something you need to conscientiously nurture and grow. Over 60% of all leaders we work with are promoted within the first year of working with us because we stretch their thinking.