As featured in Forbes.
Beginning a new executive role is exciting. It can also be daunting and overwhelming, with so many people to meet and things to think about, prepare, do, and achieve. The role begins as soon as your position is announced and everything you do from that moment on communicates and has a significant impact. Your first three months are critical. Get these early days right and the positive momentum you establish can do a great deal of work for you, making everything that follows that much easier. Get distracted and fail to think through who you need to be, the relationships you need to build, the communications you must have, and the culture you must live and foster, and this important first impression opportunity is lost.
If you are beginning as an executive (or simply want to be more effective in the role you currently hold), take pen to paper and answer the following questions. Then, place your answers where you can see them daily and schedule time to review your progress weekly.
Without thought and intentionality, even the best leaders can easily get lost in the demands of the day. Of course, leading at the executive level requires greater and greater attention to what is happening in the world and global marketplace. However, it also requires greater and greater intention in how you will direct the hearts and minds of the exceptional professionals in your care. Like children look to parents, people will now look to you as an authority as they seek clarity, answers, meaning, and certainty—certainty that you yourself will not have. They will crave your attention, acknowledgment, and validation and not even notice your need for the same. The higher your level of leadership, the more you must take time to reflect, hear yourself think, and become clear and focused so that you can lead others well, with as much clarity as any one of us is ever going to get in our inherently uncertain world. You must now become your own champion, because almost no one else will now play this role for you.
As with parenting, there is no one way to success, very few answers, and no authority who can advise you. And, just as with parenting, the stakes are high. But if you begin with the end in mind and are able to remind yourself of the kind of leader you want to be and of the impact you hope to have in your life and career, you have the greatest potential to get the key things right. You can then look back and be proud of who you were and how you led. And that’s a legacy worth leaving!
For inspiration, watch this beautiful film.
For reminders, review this book summary
Susanne Biro is coach to C-suite and executive level leaders. She is also an author, program designer, master facilitator, Forbes & CEO Magazine contributing writer and TEDx speaker. For close to two decades, Susanne has worked internationally with senior-level leaders in some of the world’s best companies. Whether coaching one-on-one or authoring, designing, and delivering leadership programs, her passion is the same: to help leaders reach their next level of personal, professional, and leadership mastery.
Susanne can be reached at 604.864.5408 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org