One of my clients still teases me about this phrase. It’s how I describe the ability of an executive to step into their own powers, talents, and abilities and use them to full capacity for the requirements of a new position. Maybe an executive is preparing to move from a North American role to one that is global in scope, or from being the top salesperson to being the Vice President of Sales and running a P&L and a team. No matter, the common theme is that to be truly successful in their new seat, these executives can’t continue to do things the way they always have. The rigors, responsibilities, and expansion of the new role are simply too great.
So, what needs to shift? Well, in addition to being more strategic, and getting comfortable delegating real responsibility, it’s crucial to prioritize where to allocate time, energy, and focused attention. And where to not. But those three key elements — delegation, prioritization, and strategic thinking — are predicated on assuming the mantle of leadership.
How do you lead with confidence and decisiveness? What does it take to self-lead so that you can effectively lead others? Below you’ll find some questions to help you get there.
Do you believe that you belong in the seat? I’m not asking if you’re scared or overwhelmed by the requirements. Deep down, do you think yourself not only capable but worthy of being in that role?
Do you have a physical way of being that connects you to your center of calm, the place where your power comes from? Are you able to access it under duress? Do you know what it feels like to be grounded and centered?
Do you have the words to express and communicate what you wish? Are you able to articulate what you mean in a concise and coherent fashion, one that conveys confidence and inspires it in others?
Are you able to challenge yourself to use new tools and skills that you might not have had to use before? Do you feel comfortable experimenting and trying out new elements of leadership strategies and making them your own? Are you open to using different language, behavior, and even meeting design?
When you have a success, do you celebrate and deconstruct it to understand what you did well so that you can repeat and replicate that thinking and behavior? You aced a presentation in front of the Board? You navigated a difficult conversation with direct report? You confidently took the reins and the initiative in an important senior-level meeting and it went off without a hitch? Ask why and how. And then repeat.
Do you have someone in your back pocket, someone with whom you can let down your guard, talk openly with about successes and mishaps, someone who will help you to ascend and assume the leadership mantle that you know yourself capable of?
Great leaders are almost always great because somewhere along the way they decided that they wanted to lead and perform at their optimum best. And then they went out and sought the knowledge and skill to take their abilities to the next level.
If you’d like to have a mutually exploratory conversation about working together to assume your own mantle of leadership, you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I work with talented, smart, ambitious senior executives who take charge of their success.
I’ll be speaking next week at the NCSHRM conference on September 29th. Marshall Goldsmith and I are part of the lineup at this multi-day event. Join me as I share some of the key factors for Magnificent Leadership® success from my forthcoming book and some of the extraordinary stories of the leadership exemplars from The Making Magnificence Project®.
And next month you can find me at the Richmond SHRM Strategic Leadership Conference on October 11. I’m delivering the closing keynote on Magnificent Leadership® and join a speaker roster that includes the Dean of the UVA Nursing School and the Director of Congressional Affairs at National SHRM.