Let’s Get Into It.
You’re here because you want to break through to that next level in your career and for some reason it’s not happening for you.
There are really only 3 things you can work on that may be holding you back:
A skill deficit
A perception issue
Now… when I’ve said this before, I’ve heard things like,
“What if there isn’t an open position?”
“What if you’re at the wrong company?”
And yes… these things CAN of course hold you back. But my guess is that you’re here because you suspect there is work you can do to set yourself up for success.
And if you’re ready to be a VP and your company has no openings for advancement for the foreseeable future, well, you may just have to look elsewhere….
So, let’s get back to the things that YOU can work on to get yourself to the next level.
First, let’s talk about limiting beliefs.
These are the beliefs you hold about yourself, and are not rooted in fact.
They’ve come from an event that hurt you, or a series of things you’ve heard. But as you clung on to these stories and told them over and over to yourself, they became beliefs.
The Problem Is If You Don’t Believe You Deserve To Be At The Exec Table, It’s Really Hard To Convince Someone Else You Do.
It’s also really hard to show up as your full, authentic self when you’re holding on to these beliefs…
So what can you do? Well, this involves some soul searching to identify these beliefs and begin to change your narrative. I’ll dedicate a whole newsletter to this topic down the road.
Now, if a skill deficit is your issue, there’s a good chance you’ve been able to identify some gaps with your boss. Often a skill deficit is the easiest of the 3 to identify.
This is where leadership courses or books can come in handy in helping you level up. Get clear on what you need to demonstrate, where the gap is, and go all in.
But… if you think a skill deficit is holding you back and you haven’t been able to get any solid feedback about what you need to work on, it may not be this at all…
I spent years hearing the same thing from my boss, our CEO,
“I’ll make you a VP once you’re there.”
“I’ll know when you get there”.
“You need to be more strategic”.
But I was never given a clear path on how to get to the next level. There was no tangible feedback that I could apply. There were no specifics on how I could ‘be more strategic’.
Only years later did I have a huge realization.
It Wasn’t A Skill Deficit At All. It Was A Perception Issue.
Meaning, I had great ideas. I was thinking strategically. But I wasn’t presenting my ideas in a way that showcased this to my fellow executives, including my boss.
In working with many women who have also hit plateaus in their career, we often realize that this issue – the perception issue – is really the one they are dealing with. Namely:
How Do You Present Yourself As A Strategic Leader?
And there are 3 elements of strategic leadership that I’ve identified:
Insights: You’re consistently bringing valuable insights forward. You’re analyzing (not just reporting) on key data and understand what it means for the business. You use data to identify trends, create insights and build new strategies.
Judgement: You’re making the right calls on what to prioritize, how to spend your time and in all decisions relating to the business, at least 80% of the time.
Framing: You present your ideas in a way that tells people you know what you’re doing. You are clear, concise and compelling when you share thoughts and present ideas.
Note that having a strong knowledge base in your field or space is going to help with all 3 of these.
So now, how do you develop these things?
How do you ensure that you’re presenting your ideas in a way that is clear, concise and compelling… or to ensure that you’re even coming up with the right ideas in the first place?
We’ll dive into this in our next newsletter, where I’ll go deeper on the elements of strategic leadership.
Until next time… ✌️💜