Accelerate to Higher Leadership

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So you’re a senior manager with an eye on reaching the executive level. You’re reaching for that next rung, thinking that it is only a matter of time before the next promotion. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but unfortunately, no, your current position is not a waiting period. You’re there to grow to learn skills and leadership behaviors that will be critical for the next level.

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You may think you are on the path to the next level of management, but if you are unwittingly falling into these traps, your career is going to stall. Before you say something like, “Of course I delegate, of course I set clear goals,” stop and rethink your assumptions about what those terms imply. As someone who has been involved in thousands of promotional decisions I can tell you these pitfalls are repeat offenders that have derailed many promising careers.

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What stopped him from doing the right thing? Eventually, I began to assemble a theory. He is flying on business and he is in corporate mode. The hierarchies necessary to keep organizations smoothly encourages some counter-productive behaviors. We become overly concerned with status, even when there is nothing to gain from that status. Who has the best parking space? The better office location? Am I flying coach or business class? If the flight is on Southwest, am I on an aisle seat? Am I important?

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Most leaders never intend to be the jerk boss. No one moves up the ranks waiting for the day in which they can make their direct reports miserable. Yet we’ve all encountered leaders who exhibit this type of behaviors. So where does it come from? And more importantly, how can you make sure it isn’t you?

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Is the Feedback on Your Work Behaviors Valid? If you are seen as a high potential leader or individual contributor, you are expected to be open to all sorts of feedback intended to make you a stronger leader or prepare you for the next level of responsibility. Much of this feedback is advice on your behaviors. This type of feedback can seem a bit personal and intimidating. When the high potential asks clarifying questions, the person giving the feedback isn’t always able to provide the detail needed to identify the specific behavior causing the perception. How can you tell if it is valid feedback you should act on?

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Pitfalls of Seasoned Leaders


Posted on Jul 23, 2015 in Blog

Your direct reports may know you are an amazing leader, but are you certain your boss knows? Too often there is a huge discrepancy between the team’s high ratings of the leader and the lack luster ratings of the boss. With more senior leaders it often stems from allowing the relationship with the boss to become too comfortable and informal. Some of the techniques the leader might have used earlier in their career to ensure they were managing up have been dropped with the false assumption these are no longer needed. Later when the leader is overlooked for promotion, the high potential leader wonders why a less capable leader is promoted. To ensure your boss knows you not only as a trusted part of the team but also as a great leader, reintroduce the following into your communications:

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