Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump

Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump

Advancing from leader to senior leader can be frustratingly elusive. Many people reach a point in their careers where they see others seamlessly making the jump to top functional roles and wonder what they are doing wrong. While a certain level of self-analysis is beneficial, its escalation to self-doubt is counterproductive.

Sometimes, career advancement is a matter of gaining the right experience and knowledge and, other times, it’s a matter of building skills that can be difficult to define and harder yet to develop, such as executive presence, strategic agility and influencing decisions outside your sphere of authority.

Regardless of the precise formula, the road to senior leadership begins with taking ownership of your own development and engaging in high-value development activities that will put you on the right path.

In my latest article for Forbes—”Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump”—I provide a roadmap for achieving senior leadership at your current job through such activities as:

  • Asking for feedback
  • Stepping beyond your role
  • Focusing on the right things
  • Actively observing
  • Communicating your ambitions

If you’re at a point in your career where more senior opportunities are limited internally, and upward mobility is not in your foreseeable future, it may be time to explore your options externally.

How you position yourself for a step up from leader to senior leader is crucial to your job search success. Since your resume serves as a prospective employer’s first impression of you and reveals you how view your career, you want to be sure that it effectively transmits your fit for a more senior assignment. Simply put, your resume’s content should reflect the job you want, not the job you have.

Read more about making the jump from leader to senior leader at Forbes, or contact me to discuss your executive job search.

Company Loyalty: Does It Carry Weight in the Job Search?

Company Loyalty: Does It Carry Weight in the Job Search?

It used to be that company loyalty was a valued attribute and considered a major asset. It implied commitment. Ten years with a company? Great. Twenty years? Even better. Today the tables have turned — now a diversity of experience trumps longevity.

Recruiters and hiring managers like to see that candidates, especially executives, have operated and flourished in a variety of environments, alongside different colleagues, leaders and circumstances.

Whether people leave for a bump in pay, career advancement, or a new experience, a one- or two-year stint at a company is no longer considered a blemish on a resume. Rather, it’s increasingly becoming the norm — even valued.

In my latest article for Forbes—”Company Loyalty: Does It Carry Weight In The Job Search?“— I lay out the implications of a long stint at a company on your career and I recommend what you should focus on when seeking a new job after a long term at your current job, including:

Highlight Diversity of Experience and Impact

Provide a career snapshot that illustrates how you progressed, remained engaged, were challenged by new leadership experiences, solved problems and — crucially — made an impact.

Demonstrate Ability to Lead Change

Focus on the aspects of the job that demonstrate a direct influence on driving change, since it is a highly coveted and transferable skill set. That can mean how you:

  • Led your team and organization through significant periods of growth, ownership changes, corporate restructuring  and strategic business shifts
  • Reinvented the business as a response to changing market conditions, consumer demands or the competitive landscape
  • Shepherded a new business start-up or turnaround

Avoid Company-Specific Language

The acronyms, phrases, and overall jargon some have been using for decades are not always transferable to other companies and may imply that one is too steeped in another corporate culture to succeed elsewhere.

To read more about the effect of company loyalty on your job search, visit Forbes.

If you are looking for a partner to help you prepare for your executive job search, contact me to learn more about how we can work together.

Are You Prepared for Your Executive Job Search?

your executive job searchFollowing are excerpts from a leadership article I recently penned for Forbes. To read the full article, visit Forbes.

Preparing for your executive job search by activating some powerful marketing strategies will equip you with the foundation you need to launch yourself into the contemporary job market.

But finding the time to pause, determine what you want, take stock of what you bring to the table, and create compelling  executive job search assets (such as your resume and LinkedIn profile) presents a challenge for many, regardless of level or industry.

Today’s job market can be extremely intimidating to those poised for an executive job search. I have found that the best approach is to treat your search with the same level of discipline that a marketer applies to the launch of a new brand. In fact, there are numerous parallels between “Marketing 101” and a job search, with you as the “brand” and your future employer as the “target audience.”

  • Know Your Objectives
  • Do Your Research
  • Perform a Personal Brand Audit
  • Build Your Team
  • Determine Your Positioning and Craft Your Messaging
  • Create Your Job-Search Assets
  • Reignite Relationships and Network

While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how long it will take to land your next job, one thing is certain — you need to be prepared before you actively engage in your executive job search.

If you are looking for a partner to help you prepare for your executive job search, contact me to learn more about how we can work together.

The Executive Leadership Gene: Do You Possess It?

The Executive Leadership Gene: Do You Possess It?

Is executive leadership a matter of nature, nurture, or both? Probably the latter but nature likely plays a much larger role than anyone had imagined.  Have you heard of rs4950? No, it is not a new Star Wars character but is “the leadership gene,” an inherited DNA sequence associated with natural leadership.  Its discovery created quite a stir when Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, PhD, University College London & Centre for Economic Performance (LSE) and his team identified the heritability of leadership skills.  Their findings revealed “genes might affect the development of individual attributes affecting the predisposition to occupy a leadership position.”

Regardless of genetics, my executive clients are—undeniably—leaders in their industries.  When I work with executives to craft their individual career narratives, the focus of our discussion is on uncovering their “unique leadership DNA”: the skills, knowledge, attributes, and career accomplishments that make them different than every other leader who does what they do at their level and in their space.

In order to convey key points of executive leadership distinction and unique business value, it is crucial to identify your common experience and success threads, including the ways in which you’ve influenced the business, the operation, the organization, the culture, process, technology, people, and relationships.  Equally important to demonstrate are the specific types of business problems you can help a company solve and how this aligns to your past experience.

If you are looking for a partner to help identify and convey your unique executive leadership DNA, contact me to learn more about how we can work together.