Up-level your leadership

How to succeed in a new, bigger role

By Teri Citterman, Executive Coach 

Two years ago, I created an executive performance program for professionals who needed to up-level their skills for higher levels of leadership. Whether it’s taking on the role of CEO or another role in the C-suite, the first step is to create an up-leveling plan that identifies clear markers for those critical first 30, 60 and 90 days. Identify what might get in your way of hitting your markers and make sure it doesn’t. Here’s how.

First, remember the adage: “What got you here, won’t get you there.” Up-level by broadening your perspective. Reach across your organization with people and in places where you’ve never spent time. The goal is to think of the organization as a system and understand the interdependencies that exist today and need to be developed for the future.

**Attend the next From the CEO’s Perspective forum on Thursday, March 26**

Identify the areas of the company you don’t yet understand. Then launch a “Q & L” tour. This is where you ask the questions (Q) and listen (L)—no answering allowed! Your job is to learn more in the first 30 days than you thought humanly possible.

Here are my favorite questions to focus your listening:

  • What are the most critical business issues that I may not be aware of?
  • How can departments partner to achieve success?
  • What’s the best way to communicate to ensure collaboration with the team?

Speaking of team members, moving from peer to boss is one of the most uncomfortable and challenging aspects of being promoted. If this pertains to you, I recommend calling out the elephant in the room quickly. Address the awkwardness and assert who you are as the new leader. This requires that you self-reflect ahead of time to define who you are as the leader in this new capacity.

Help your team get to know you in a new way. For example, tell a story from your life that defined one of your values and helped you find your conviction. Tell your team your biggest pet peeve and what wins gold stars with you. Let them know the best way to influence your decision and the most effective way to disagree with you. 

These are just a few ideas to help you up-level with confidence at the beginning of a new leadership role. Getting off to a good start will set the ball in motion  for strong leadership and long-term success.

—Learn more about executive coaching at the WAC with Teri Citterman at wac.net/leadership-coaching.

As published in the March/April 2020 issue of WAC Magazine

—Posted February 26, 2020

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