We all love to read the dynamics of success. But the author has found that the greatest lessons come from examining failure. The author found that C suite executives are vulnerable to career failure when they are in the midst of one of these three common transition scenarios.
Leap into leadership role:
The transition to the top team is demanding, with 50% to 60% of executives failing within the first 18 months of being promoted or hired.
- High-profile leadership transition is more than they bargain for.
- They are unprepared for the frantic pace or they lack the requisite big-picture perspective.
- They have little transparency into looming team dysfunction or insurmountable challenges until they are actually in the role.
- Actively pursue feedback.
- Leaders should not be too occupied with the demands of the job and put efforts to be introspective.
- Many benefit from in-depth 360-degree reviews at six to eight months and then again at 18 months.
- Knowing the areas others think you need to grow allows you to get the support you need executive coaching, finding a peer-mentor, or adjusting your team to round out your development areas.
- This helps you assess whether you are fitting onto the culture or if you need to strengthen key relationships internally and externally.
The organizational transition:
- Organization today is either considering or enacting a transformation of some type.
- “Change is the new normal” reality, high stakes transformations are highly risky for executives who fail to reinvent the organization or themselves fast enough.
- Misinterpreting the need for change or getting on the wrong side of it.
- Leaders are too slow to act or unwilling to get on board as a change effort gets underway.
- To survive organizational and industry shifts, leaders need to get ahead of change.
- They need to think about where they fit into the new order and find a way to have an impact.
- They also must over communicate with the CEO or board to make it clear where they stand on the need for change and how they will lead its implementation.
C-suite leaders are at the apex of their careers. They have competed for years and achieved what they have been striving for: a spot on the top team. As a result, many experience a type of paradox:
- They are working harder than ever to succeed, but they don’t know what’s next in their career.
- This uncertainty, combined with job stress, can lead to burnout.
- Executives feel stuck at the top.
- The average tenure of C-suite leaders has been declining in recent years.
- Executives can take steps to either extend their tenure or prepare for what’s next in their career. As part of that, they need to rethink their relationship with sponsors.
- they may not need sponsors to create new opportunities for them, but they do need advocates, supportive peers, and career role models.
- C-suite executives who surround themselves with support and have a clear vision of their future, are more likely to continue to succeed.
Reinvention is the most important attribute for leaders today and if not attempted they are sure to fail.
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