When you’re in a position of authority, people have a tendency to tell you what you want to hear; or at least be very “calculated” about how they share feedback with you. An executive coach can provide more honest and direct feedback.
It’s easy to think that we must be pretty amazing for getting as far as we have and for accomplishing so much. When you are really successful or have had a great deal of success in the past, it can actually give you a false sense of security.
Unfortunately, our existing success can actually be the enemy of our future success. It can cause a person to become complacent or overly confident in their own skills. Marshall Goldsmith coined the phrase, “What got you here won’t get you there.”
There are two things we know for sure:
- Organizations are constantly evolving.
- The skill set that’s always worked in the past may not work as well in the future.
So, let’s break this down just a little bit.
First, we are aware that the industry will evolve over time – technology, the economy, the culture; those things are all changing. We want our organizations to change and adapt, and we expect that the teams we lead to evolve along with it. But, are you demanding the same thing of yourself as an executive leader and intentionally creating opportunities to evolve? An outside perspective can help challenge the status quo and offer a sounding board for both professional and organizational growth.
And second, success can actually cause us to overestimate our own effectiveness. We can become blind to what’s holding us back. Many leaders rise to the top of organizations because they’re really good at getting things done; they’re ambitious; they’re driven. And they’re good at coming up with all of the answers. But at some point, these behaviors may actually be the reason we hit a wall. Complacency is the first stage of failure.
If you’re an executive, seek out an outside perspective. Someone who allows you to think through an idea that may just start out as a fleeting thought. Someone who will invest the time to understand your strengths and weaknesses. And someone who will give you direct feedback and challenge the way that you’re thinking about things.
Here are some symptoms that may indicate it’s time to talk to an Executive Coach! Click here to hear what your peers perceive as business leaders’ biggest challenges and to download your Free Business Trends Playbook click here.