"I couldn't stop thinking about how much time I've been wasting Val!"
That is what one executive said to me this week as he realized his executive job search hadn’t been giving him the results he expected and he listened to my How to Define and Find the Perfect Executive Role teleconference.
It occurred to me this week that there are a number of essentials executives need, but they don’t focus on it until it is too late. Today you get to benefit from all the “I wish I had known…’s” that I’ve heard from executives so you can get ahead.
Here are my top five:
Don’t forget your former colleagues and connections
I had a lovely note from one of my favorite former colleagues and clients. We are now back in touch and he acknowledged his "benign-neglect-to-awkward-embarrassment cycle of managing my connections with folks who I’m not tightly engaged with on a day-to-day basis”. He isn’t alone, it takes discipline and selfish prioritization to stay connected with those who inspire and energize you, but aren’t part of your regular cycle of daily activity.
What to do right now: Pick three names of those on your regretful neglect list and call or text them, right now, and arrange a call or to meet up.
Have mentors at the right altitude for your current success
It is easier earlier in your career, there are mentors abound everywhere above you. As you rise the ranks to executives, those who can help you are a smaller pool, and have increasing demands on their time. Look around you now, and consider who you call for advice, do they have the BTDTGR tee-shirt? (Been-There-Done-That-Got-Results)
What to do right now: Consider the future of your business, what is the biggest area that you have never tackled before and ask yourself who has and who could be an advisor to you. If you don’t know them, who does and who can give you an introduction?
Know people who could hire you
If you haven’t already spotted it, yes there is a common theme around evaluating and maintaining connections here. It is the number one theme of complaints from executives on the move. Again, as you move higher, you need a different seniority of a network of who you need to build relationships with.
What to do right now: Consider how many Board members, CEOs or people who could hire you that you know. Is that a dehydrated list? Consider who is one click away who could introduce you.
Don’t dive down your internal corporate rabbit warren
I recently invited an executive to keynote at a prominent executive event and he declined because he needed to focus on his newly gained CEO role. While logically I understand his call, there is a danger you focus too narrowly on internal activities in your first year in role when having a dual focus with your external profile.
What to do right now: Pick one or two events a year that you decide to invest your time in, either to speak at, or to attend. Want some recommendations? Email or call me and I can tailor specific recommendations just for you.
Be brilliant at sharing your honest brilliance
Before you roll your eyes at the thought of bragging, I am constantly amazed at the brilliant achievements of executives I meet that are a complete secret. I recently looked at the CV of a brilliant executive, and her achievements were incredible, but when I googled her I couldn’t find her, and none of the details were on her LinkedIn profile. Sadly this is a trend rather than a one off. Reply if you want my fast tips for discovering how amazing you are and how to make sure the virtual you reflects the real you!
Winds change fast in corporate life, you can go from being top of your game with an abundance of cheerleaders, to floating adrift alone just by one or two executive changes or an unexpected acquisition.
As I told one of my clients this week, unlike my young daughters, I receive no satisfaction from the I-told-you-so! game. But I can help you prevent experiencing regret when it fast becomes out of your control.
Over the next few months I will be in Seattle, New York, Boston, San Jose, Savannah, and San Francisco, let me know if there is someone it would be good for me to meet while I am in town, I love introductions!
Dedicated to growing your business,
P.S. I hope you enjoyed this week's VAL-uable Insights, sign up here to get them in your inbox each Monday morning: http://valwrightconsulting.com/newsletter-sign-up/