Last week we discussed trap #2 for leaders in transition – silent stakeholders who can ruin your reputation. This week is all about the goals you don’t know exist that are sabotaging you getting the rewards you deserve.
Some of my executive coaching assignments are quite touching for me personally. That’s when talented people who do great work are not getting the rewards they deserve!
A successful senior manager, let’s call him Vincent, applied for a General Manager position within his organization. When someone else got it, he felt quite frustrated: “I am getting things done, and I am getting results. My boss knows this, he supports me and he recommended me for this GM position. I just don’t know why I didn’t get it, and I am not happy about it.”
Vincent had apparently managed his way around trap #1 and #2: he seemed to know what the company expected in his current role, he was hitting the numbers, and he knew who his key stakeholders were. Yet, he did not get the job he desired.
During our coaching, I interviewed key decision makers and asked them these questions:
“What are Vincent’s strengths? What are his development areas? What gaps, if any, will he have to close to be the chosen one for the next GM position available?”
Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive: “Great guy, very reliable, gets things done, extremely performance driven, very knowledgeable, hard-working…” It’s rare to get so many positive comments across the board.
But then there were these ‘buts’: “…But I don’t see him taking on a larger role just yet.”
Unfortunately, this feedback was consistent across all interviewees, too. Yet it still didn’t tell us what Vincent needed to do differently. So I delved deeper and discovered their specific concerns: spending too much attention to detail at the expense of the big picture.
Vincent was hitting all the goals he knew about, yet his move to GM was sabotaged because he was also being judged against a goal of “overseeing the big picture without getting lost in the details.”
If you are a leader in transition, or if you are aspiring to a new role just like Vincent,
- do you know what the people who will decide about your next career move in your organization really want?
- what will these decision makers perceive as performance?
- what will make them trust that you have what it takes to take on a bigger role?
Make sure you don’t sabotage your impact, but find out exactly what people want you to DO and BE in your new role.
“What happened to Vincent?” you might ask.
Well, once we knew what the decision makers expected, we had some specific things to work on. For a while then Vincent went quiet though. After some time he contacted me agian, apologizing for being too busy to be in touch. He had great news to share: he thanked me for my help and confided that he had been so busy because he was departing soon to take on a GM role in another country. Wow, I love my job!
It’s amazing what can happen if only you know what the critical goals are against which your performance will be judged.
May you hit the ground running and create the right impact in your first 180 days!
In my next article, you will discover how skills you never knew you needed can sabotage all the hard work you have already put into your new executive career – it’s time to evolve and fast!
If you would like an individual consultation on how to hit the ground running and create the right impact as an executive in transition, contact me now:
phone: +66-2 107 2025