When “Marie” began coaching with me, she felt unrecognized and unappreciated in her job. Like so many talented women at mid-career, she had become so proficient at her work that everyone depended upon her to “get things done.” She was so busy with her head down, putting out fires and saving other people’s butts, that she had not developed any kind of executive profile. When a new VP was hired in from the outside, Marie wondered aloud, “Why aren’t I a “corner-office-guy”? Indeed, she had become something very different: a “go-to-gal.”
Marie has come to recognize that staying stuck “in the thick of thin things,” as Stephen R. Covey famously put it, has held her back. She may get some quick-fix satisfaction for being the one to fix-it, but in the long run it’s costing her career advancement and fulfillment.
If you’ve become a “go-to-gal,” and you have your eye on the corner office, here’s what Marie has learned through our coaching. I call it her “corner-office manifesto”:
- Influence in a positive manner. Offer up suggestions for improvement and offer to help.
- Constantly ask, “What is my focus?” and “What is my vision?” Move in the direction of that vision.
- Think and behave strategically. Do not get stuck in the day-to-day tasks; instead, always be looking forward.
- Stop doing and start planning/directing.
- Be proactive in recommending improvements in processes and policies.
- Build social capital both internally and externally. Network.
- Hire talented resources. Hire my successor.
What would you add to the list? Leave a comment below!