What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

In working with executives, and also from my own experience, what got you in that chair won’t get you up another rung in the ladder. There are many things one must do to deserve a promotion and take the next step in our careers and business.

Marshall Goldsmith wrote the book, “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There”, which I read while coaching at the University of Minnesota. I read this book after going to the Final 4 with my team and I knew what got me there, wouldn’t keep me there. This book helped me understand and to continue evolving as a leader and coach and to continue finding new ways to sustain success in an ever-changing arms race of college athletics.

In the business landscape, change happens at lightening speed and our focus must shift and be open to change. The higher position you hold, your focus must shift. The shift must go from your current position to the position and mindset you’re heading to. As a leader, you must be able to adapt and change your focus, approach, and skill set at every level. Your leadership style must adapt when going from a vice president to senior vice president and then to a CEO. The skill set changes and the focus must shift. Assuming the title comes expectations, perceptions, and more accountability from everyone around.

There are three areas one must shift their focus and approach when expanding, building, and growing the businesses and in managing our own careers. This will help you plan and prepare for what’s needed to GET YOU THERE.

1) The Individual

It will take confidence to go from here to there. You must be willing to take some risks and jump in head first – displaying confidence. Learning takes place on the job and it’s important to have a mentor, coach and to surround yourself with people who you can trust. In addition to confidence, your leadership presence is critical. People will look to you and they need to see a leader – leading! First, ask yourself if you have done enough to get there? Many people are loud and vocal about what they want, the types of clients they want, the promotion or title they think they deserve, but have you done enough to get there.

2) The Team

Why do you deserve a promotion or to become a manager, director, or vice president? It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve arrived or that you have mastered the art of being a good leader or manager of people. When you take the next step, your focus and skill set change. The tasks and processes become someone else’s responsibility (for the most part), and the most important thing you do is to put strong people around you. The leader must focus on the people part and the emotional perspective of the team. The focus shifts to relationships, team dynamics, and making sure you have a strong team and bench. If you’re unsure of what skills you need, get yourself a coach or mentor to help develop those skills and the mindset you must have to lead at that level.

3) The Organization

If you have a business you’re looking to grow and take to the next level, look at the people around you. What got you here as an organization, will not get you to the next level. In order to double or triple your business, look at your team and skill sets. Do you have the right people? The people who got you here, might not be able to get you there. Do they have the connections, knowledge, or drive? I am sure they are good people, but they might not have what it takes to get to you and your organization to the next level. As the leader, surround yourself with people who are better than you many areas. Finally, take a look in the mirror at your own leadership style and approach. Do you need to change for others to have the confidence in you in order to take your organization to the next level?

Take time to THINK, how will you sustain the level of success and growth moving forward. Stay relevant in your industry. Research, read, and learn. What got you HERE as a coach, speaker, leader, business owner, or CEO won’t get you THERE.