Why You Are Not Being Promoted to the Executive Level

Executive Level.2Lately, I’ve been talking with a number of people who are frustrated due to not being promoted. These conversations are the genesis for this article.

Did you know that almost 40 percent of new executives fail within 6 to 18 months?

What can you do to avoid becoming part of this statistic?

I’ve talked with many up-and-coming executives that believe “I’ve got this handled.” Although they were able to talk their way through the interview process, they did not convey the management, decision-making, and communication skills required to succeed as an executive. Some simply were not ready and did not know why.

Remember, you won’t have time to acquire these required skills after you are promoted since decisions at the executive level impact the entire company in real time.

What are the top 3 skills to learn before becoming an executive?

 1. Do you have the emotional intelligence required?

  • -Are you aware of your impact on others?
  • -Do you manage appropriately?
  • -Are you aware and able to work through biases you have towards others?
  • -Are you able to compromise with others without sacrificing integrity?
  • -Do you effectively manage the impact you have on others in the workplace and with clients?

A mid-level manager, a GenXer, felt in his heart and mind that he was ready. He thought he had done the work, but, found out after he received his promotion that his new boss expected him to directly resolve sensitive client and employee controversies. Before his promotion, his former boss had resolved sticky situations. As a result, he lacked the experience, skills, and relationships to get issues resolved. Three months later, he was fired after a major client threatened to leave.

2. “Can you talk the talk?”

  • -Do you think, speak, and make decisions in a consistent and objective business manner?
  • -Words have power.
  • -Decisions made as an executive matter a lot!

An ‘older-millennial’ believed he was ready for a promotion to the executive level. But, others believed he lacked the ability to make good decisions and communicate at the executive level. For example, instead of using numbers and facts to back up his assertions, he used words like, “I feel” and “others wouldn’t be happy if we did that.” He soon left to become an executive for a competitor. Six months later he was fired for poor job fit. He still lacked the ability to communicate and make decisions at the executive level.

As an executive, you are an advocate for the entire company. It’s a huge job, and, at times, requires you to make unpopular decisions. Your ability to build relationships and communicate effectively is built over time, not in the moment. Additionally, strong financial skills are required and can be learned by starting with the basics.

3. “Are you coachable?”

  • -Do you have a coach? Most successful executives have coaches.

A mid-level director wanted to become an executive. But, she believed the executive team was “too male-oriented” for her to be accepted as an executive. Instead of hiring a coach and spearheading a campaign for her promotion, she kept waiting for the right time. That time never came and she left after a company merger.

What prevented her from becoming an executive? She lacked the willingness to take a risk and become her own advocate.

Moral of the story…hire the right coach for you, even if you have to pay for it yourself! It will be money well spent.

With the right coach, you will:

  • -Become a risk-taker and go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from the experience.
  • -Blast through “current challenges” that are in the way of building your “brags” and improving your experience, skills, and relationships.
  • -Boldly navigate through uncharted, and often, murky waters.
  • -Find out whether or not you’ve been sidelined and why. Then, with your coach, turnaround these situations.

Believe it or not, these stories are common and can happen to you! As an experienced coach, my advice to you as an aspiring executive is to prepare before the executive level promotion becomes available.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is an experienced award-winning executive coach. She has been a champion for people achieving results for the past 26 years. Her clients have created more fun, 6-figure incomes, and success when working through confusing situations. Develop your executive persona and avoid being sidelined.  Contact Jeannette for straight talk with dynamic results.

How to Improve Confusing Situations by Talking Them Out

Confusing situationsWe’ve all experienced confusing situations in our jobs and relationships that we wished would simply go away. These situations can be messy, political, and fear-filled, and outcomes unpredictable. We justify our fears by thinking “I don’t have the time or ability to improve the situation.”

Confusing situations throw you off-balance. To improve them, you must get outside your comfort zone. Remember, your inner mental chatter rarely improves or resolves anything. It’s the outside “chatter” or “talking it out” directly with the person or team, that makes the difference. This creates the potential for win-win-win outcomes.

The Top 5 Approaches that Don’t Work!

  • -Manipulating the Situation. Being a “know-it-all” and dominating the conversation won’t improve the situation.
  • -Blaming Others. Not taking responsibility for the situation won’t improve the outcome.
  • -Denial. Pretending a confusing situation doesn’t exist won’t have it magically disappear.
  • -Lying. Are you willing to put at risk your job, promotions, and pay increases? The truth always surfaces one way or the other.
  • -Fear. When fear is your overriding emotion, your commitment to resolving confusing situations disappears.

It’s time to commit, stand up, and talk it out.

  • If you have a problem working with your boss, sending out your resume won’t improve the relationship. Talk it out with your boss or HR.
  • When you are upset with an employee’s behavior, ignoring or sidelining them won’t improve them! Instead, talk it out, rewrite their job description, and/or hire them a coach.
  • When a client has lied to you, refusing to return their calls or ignoring them won’t resolve the issue. Instead, talk it out face-to-face after receiving coaching on how to do it effectively. (Don’t rely on previous experiences or current feelings to improve the situation!)
  • If you have a negative attitude towards your neighbor, building a fence won’t heal the issue. Talking it out over a BBQ can.
  • Implementing a new business model to fix the old model won’t improve a confusing situation. Instead, hire the right industry mentor and experienced executive coach to talk it out and resolve the underlying issue.

A Checklist for Win-Win-Win Outcomes

Talking it out and expanding what’s possible in the job or relationship is key to improving confusing situations. It takes time and requires sharing your POVs while listening to others’ POVs!  

  1. Ask a “what if…” question as an inquiry. (Hint: This means there is no right answer.)

For example:

  • -“What if each employee was responsible for being engaged in their job, what would that look like?”
  • -“What if you changed your job description, how would that improve your results with clients?”
  1. Engage your boss or everyone on the team through brainstorming. Yes, you want to hear everyone’s thoughts and opinions.
  2. Listen for the golden nuggets in each person’s POV on how to improve the situation.
  3. Stay away from biases or quick fixes.
  4. When the proverbial elephant shows up in the room, be vulnerable by sharing it openly and honestly instead of ignoring it.
  5. Align everyone on a solution before addressing the details.
  6. Fear will naturally arise when people operate outside their comfort zones. Talk it out. For example, “Where could we find new resources?” (This moves you past the excuses of why it won’t work.)
  7. Remind the team daily of the goal and intended outcomes. When new situations arise, and, they will, it’s time to talk further!
  8. Track success. Celebrate and brag about it.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly has been a champion for people achieving results for the past 26 years. As an award-winning coach, she has helped 100s of bosses create more fun, 6-figure incomes, and success when working through confusing situations. Improve the outcomes of your confusing situations by contacting Jeannette for straight talk with dynamic results.

Successful bosses have coaches! Sign up for our weekly newsletter to learn how to solve your 3-P concerns (people, project, and performance). When you register, you will receive FREE “How to Select the Best Coach for You!”

 

Surprisingly, Listening to Feedback Can Make You Promotable

feedback.promotable.3A 43-year-old boss was critical and subjective when giving feedback to his employees. They reacted by ignoring him, arguing with him, or simply continue to do it their own way. When his director demanded he learn how to give feedback to motivate his team, he gave in and hired a coach. He quickly learned he didn’t like receiving feedback either! The first lesson for bosses, it’s important to learn to receive feedback as well as give it!

Giving and receiving feedback can be difficult today. The #1 challenge according to research, “we aren’t the reliable raters of other people’s performance that we think we are; …” (HBR, 2019)

As bosses, higher level management encourages us to be critical of others. They believe this motivates everyone to excel. The truth is, most employees don’t listen to feedback, even when it is constructively offered. This hurts everyone’s ability to learn and be promotable.

Consider, you can learn something from anyone. This is feedback and makes you promotable. It requires you to choose to listen and hear what others are saying, particularly when you don’t want to do so. Otherwise, you risk having your career sidelined.

Why We Don’t Want Feedback

When you are emotionally attached to doing it your way, you don’t care what others think and blow off their feedback. You will argue your results are good enough and disregard the outcome or impact on others. This attitude towards feedback will derail your career.

How to Learn from Feedback

Listen Up! Do you want to be promotable? It’s crucial to fine-tune your willingness to hear feedback. When you listen through the filter of being criticized, you will feel criticized. If you listen to someone’s feedback as a gift, you will find it valuable. It’s always your choice!

Role-play from POV. Instead of ignoring feedback, role-play the feedback from the other person’s POV. This is a great way to better understand why they are saying what they are saying.

Listen for Objective Insights. Promotable bosses embrace feedback, even when shared subjectively. Deep dive by asking questions to uncover objective concerns. Remember, there is no absolute correct way to do anything. For example, there are over 100 ways to wash dishes!

Hire a Coach. Learning from feedback gets you promoted faster. Hire a well-seasoned executive coach. This expert will guide you through the unwritten company rules and help you build a strong confident work style.

Build Team Comradery. When you disregard your team members’ feedback, they no longer trust you. Develop an openness and valuing feedback when designing a project or implementing a plan. It will improve your results and limit unwelcomed surprises. Listen and ask good questions to build alignment and don’t ignore nay-sayers. (Hint: Nay-sayers often provide the best feedback.)

Make Feedback Constructive. Use a job fit assessment to objectively clarify why you do what you do. Remember, every strength has an inherent weakness that impacts your outcome. You need feedback to recognize this.  For example, if you are a great listener, you will miss out on being introduced to decision-makers at networking meetings. Why? You allow highly sociable influencers (aka someone who talks nonstop) to get in your way of asking for introductions.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is a well-seasoned award-winning executive coach. She has been a champion for people achieving results for the past 26 years. As a result, her clients have created more fun, 6-figure incomes, and success when working through confusing situations. Develop your ability to give laser-like feedback.  Contact Jeannette for straight talk with dynamic results.

Successful bosses have coaches! Sign up for our weekly newsletter to learn how to solve your 3-P concerns (people, project, and performance). When you register, you will receive FREE “How to Select the Best Coach for You!”

Alert! Overconfidence is the Downfall for Managers Today

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Overconfidence has become a management trend today, according to many studies.

A new manager believed he was ready to lead a $25M dollar project, even though he had never run a $1M project before. He sold himself by making bold promises and embellishing his skills. 60 days later he was fired and wanted to know why. He hired a coach and learned he had management potential, but, he lacked the managerial experience required to manage a diverse team. Later, he found why. His team hadn’t trusted him and disregarded everything he said. They believed he was, “too full of himself.” In other words, he was overconfident in his skills and abilities.

The overconfidence dynamic happens when managers overestimate their abilities to perform and deliver.  When they fail, they are sidelined or fired without understanding the specific reasons why. To develop awareness, they need to set aside their I-got-this-handled attitudes. Then, listen, be coachable, and develop true inner confidence. (Hint: inner confidence is not based on ego or feelings; it’s based on a proven track record)

Are You Overconfident?

Awareness and mindfulness are important. At times, everyone has been or will be overconfident in their life and career. Learn to recognize and adjust the words or actions that signal you’re being overconfident. If you don’t, it may be your downfall.

Be honest about your skills. Take the time to conduct an accurate assessment of yourself. This includes talking with co-workers, bosses, customers, and vendors (a 360-degree review).  Also, use a scientifically validated job fit assessment. This type of assessment goes beyond how you want to be seen. It provides objective insights into your strengths, skills, and abilities needed to excel as a leader or boss.

Stop comparing yourself with others. Too often, when you see someone make a mistake, you may become arrogant and believe you would never make a similar mistake. This is one important example of being overconfident and lacking empathy.

Test your assumptions before declaring your decision. Too often we make important judgments and decisions based on fragments of information. We fail to deep dive objectively into the pros and cons. Contact your network!  90% of the world’s information is in people’s heads, not the internet.  Questions to get answered: Why did it work for that company? What are the differences between the companies? What is the “insider” information? This kind of analysis can help you make confident decisions.

Listen to others’ feedback and concerns. While it may seem easier to only focus on the positives, a healthy skepticism has saved many people’s careers and financial outcomes. All feedback is valuable.

Recognize when it’s the right time. While many ideas may be viable with modifications, it may not be the right time or place to put them into action. Beware if you’ve mulled an idea around in your head too long, it may no longer make a positive difference.

How to Work with Overconfident Managers

Stay aware and mindful in conversations. Listen up when your manager’s decision impacts you, your project, team, budget, etc.  Ask good open-ended questions to learn how the decision was made.

Stand up and speak up. While it’s important to be assertive in these situations, diplomacy is critical. Remember, you may be right…but, overconfident bosses may ignore you in the future if their ego feels threatened.

If their idea or assertion does not impact you, avoid confrontation. Choose which issues to pursue. Otherwise, when a major issue needs to be resolved, overconfident managers will not be open to listening to you.

While we’ve all experienced overconfidence at one time or another, learn from the above strategies to avoid downfalls and create healthy inner confidence.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly has been a champion for people achieving results for the past 26 years. As an award-winning coach, she has helped 100s of bosses create more fun, 6-figure incomes, and success when working through confusing situations. Develop a healthy inner-confidence by contacting Jeannette for straight talk with dynamic results.

Successful bosses have coaches! Sign up for our weekly newsletter to learn how to solve your 3-P concerns (people, project, and performance). When you register, you will receive FREE “How to Select the Best Coach for You!”

How to Successfully Overcome Your Professional Failures

Success.Failure

Consider that one hour out of 2080 work hours in one year is equal to .04 percent (.0004).  Yet, in this minuscule amount of time, you can derail your career and become fired or sidelined.  Worse, you may not even know this has happened until it’s too late.

Joanie, a senior manager of a Fortune 50 company, felt she was right to support her team and the budget for a new project. When Cole, her boss’s boss, asked questions about the numbers, Joanie went on the defensive. As a result, Cole’s ego got in the way. He was offended and embarrassed that he could not logically explain his apprehensions. In that one hour, she didn’t even know she derailed her career and was slated to be fired.

When Joanie shared the situation with her coach, the coach understood the predictable outcome…Joanie was going to be fired.  She convinced Joanie to apologize to Cole. However, Cole would not talk with her. Then, the coach advised Joanie to get transferred to a different department asap. Joanie didn’t agree there was a problem since her boss Kevin hadn’t said anything to her yet.  But, instead of waiting around, she got into action and got a new job in a different department with a pay increase. The first comment Kevin made to her a month later was, “I don’t know what you did or how you did it, but, congrats. Otherwise, I was not looking forward to firing you.”

The recent comeback of Tiger Woods is an international example that you can overcome setbacks, mistakes, and failures. He clearly had done the work required, even when faced with additional setbacks, to win the 2019 Masters Tournament.

Most professionals have experienced difficult situations. The challenge is, are we aware and willing to turn the situation around? Are we practicing and developing the right skills? Do we have the right external coach and internal industry mentor to help us avoid and overcome career traps? If not, it will take longer to transform failure into success.

First, and foremost, hire a coach to avoid the trial and error of “getting it right.” Most successful leaders, bosses, and executives learn this lesson early in their careers. However, it’s never too late.

Next, Do the Work by Practicing These Skills Daily

  1. Read something that motivates you.
  2. Meditate and visualize positive outcomes.
  3. When driving or riding, listen to a podcast that educates you.
  4. Build relationships daily through positive interactions. It starts with a smile, “hello,” “please,” and “thank you.”
  5. Honor your word by fulfilling your promises and managing others’ expectations of you.
  6. Promote yourself in a business savvy manner…it builds immediate credibility.
  7. Help others succeed by supporting them in word and action. Ask, “How can I help you?”
  8. Respect others’ opinions and ask the right questions in a way to elicit the best from others.
  9. Listen to others’ ideas. Incorporate them into the project or plan where appropriate.
  10. Be fearless in resolving conflicts, criticisms, and complaints for win-win-win outcomes.
  11. Accept those things you cannot change (e.g., people’s personalities, weather, etc.).
  12. Be resourceful and resilient when faced with challenges.
  13. Be kind to yourself in how you think, speak, and write.
  14. Have compassion for others.
  15. Get into focused action…it overcomes procrastination and overthinking.
  16. Apologize immediately if someone appears offended by what you’ve said or done. This is regardless of whether or not you are at fault.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly has been a champion for people achieving results for the past 26 years. As an award-winning coach, she has helped 100s of bosses create more fun, 6-figure incomes, and success when working through confusing situations. Avoid career derailment by contacting Jeannette for straight talk with dynamic results.

Successful bosses have coaches! Sign up for our weekly newsletter to learn how to solve your 3-P concerns (people, project, and performance). When you register, you will receive FREE “How to Select the Best Coach for You!”