Supporting individuals to step up and achieve managerial and leadership success
Most of my work at an individual level is with newly-promoted managers who have performed well in their field of expertise as an individual and are now being asked to manage and lead a team.
In my experience, organisations and individuals often underestimate what is involved in making this transition. Individuals need to recognise that performing as a manager means thinking and acting differently. There’s a tougher challenge – individuals making this transition need to recognise that to succeed in their new roles they have to “unlearn” behaviours and skills that have made them successful so far.
So for example, it’s no longer about the individual and his or her performance in a sales, finance or another functional role. Instead, it’s about the team’s performance and how they are being guided and motivated by that individual to achieve what they need to achieve.
Becoming a manager also means that a person needs to look at how he or she contributes to the organisation at a strategic rather than an operational level. It’s less about the ‘doing’ more about devising and then motivating and inspiring a team to deliver the strategic asks of their organisation
I support individual clients in stepping up and achieving mindset and behavioural changes. My work involves making the clients think differently about success and what they need to believe about themselves to make it happen.
I’m a firm believer in career planning, not one that straight jackets the individual but instead capitalises on his or her potential. All the research shows that if you don’t have a career plan, if you don’t follow your ‘north star,’ then you don’t have a clear direction of travel. Instead, if you have a real sense of where you are going, the road will be straighter and it will be less demanding, in terms of energy, purpose and focus.
It’s always perplexed me that female clients I coach don’t progress through their careers at the same pace as their male counterparts. It’s important to recognise how much conditioning does not help women perform as well in a corporate world that has been made for men by men.
I work with women on the unconscious drivers that are preventing them from performing better and getting them to recognise that they can’t be all things to all people. It is possible for them to balance their work and home lives in a way that men do usually with less mental energy.
Through coaching assignments and through the WomanUp Female Leadership Programme, I support women who are at most risk of leaving the corporate world – that so-called weak point in the leadership pipeline. That is where their conditioning gets most tested. They may have young families, be caring for elderly parents and have to balance those responsibilities with their corporate careers.
I’m passionate about getting women to honour their ambitions but not at the expense of other aspects of their lives. Men have similar issues but, in my experience, they are different and not as pronounced.