Are you curious about how you compare to other leaders—particularly your struggles and challenges?
A few weeks ago, responses rolled into my questionnaire (thank you!) about your greatest leadership challenges and development needs.
“If you were to choose only one leadership area to further develop, what would it be?
Here’s how the answers stacked up to one of the two primary questions:
1st Ta-dah, ta-dah—
“Managing upward” was the clear front runner receiving more than one-third of the votes.
2nd “Influencing others” was second, scoring approximately 25% of the votes.
3rd “Courageously dealing with difficult conversations” followed with just under 25% of votes.
“When it comes to feeling totally proud of who you are as a leader, what’s the single biggest challenge, frustration or problem that you’ve been struggling with?
Answers to the other primary question were rich—and varied—and highly aligned with the previous question.
The first two themes were the same as they were for the other question—with the four strongest themes being:
- Influencing others/getting buy-in
- Managing upwards
- Managing my workload
- Leading strategically
The Managing Upwards—Influencing Others Link
So for most of you, your big-ticket items are managing upwards and influencing others.
These two items seem intrinsically linked.
We could read managing upwards as influencing upwards, couldn’t we?
And, if you’re an expert at influencing others you’d pull more weight upwards, wouldn’t you?
Three Important Questions
- How critical is it to your career to persuasively manage upwards?
- What is it that makes managing upwards and influencing others difficult?
- What are the potential consequences of not effectively managing upwards and influencing others?
To move upwards, you’ll probably need to effectively manage upwards, right?
Ah, also, better check this one…
I hope your team members aren’t also concerned about how difficult managing upwards is.
Your Call to Action
Here’s the thing…
Managing upwards, influencing others, courageously dealing with difficult conversations and leading strategically are all entirely learnable skills and therefore manageable—but you need to decide to deal with them and then activate your decision.
You know the saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
If you’re not one of the leaders I coach, a sensible decision would be to email me to arrange a time to
chat about your challenges.
I’ll also continue to publish blogs that’ll help you deal with them—but frankly, there’s nothing that
comes close to having a coach alongside you to accelerate your success with these topics.
“Before working with Carolyn, I inappropriately got fired up. I wasn’t managing my emotions well at all.
These days, since being coached, my old reputation isn’t holding water. I’m less stressed now and I’m enjoying both my work as well as the relationships that I have with people at work.
I’m also much more confident about progressing my career. And I like me more now!”
—Senior Marketing Leader, Global Medical Equipment Company
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s helped leader after leader become totally proud of who they are as a leader—confident, courageous, impressively influential (even when they’ve previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with it).
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She’ll draw on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit your situation.
She’s never too busy to talk to you—or to leaders you refer who’re in a hurry to boost their success. Email to arrange a time to chat: firstname.lastname@example.org