Transition to what?

The famous phrase regarding transition, coined by Marshall Goldsmith, is “what got you here, won’t get you there”. Ambition might cloud your vision. In some organisations, a C-level role guarantees you a job for maximum three years, in other organisations you will remain in your role for over 10 years. What we know about leadership transitions and effective onboarding is as mix of science and art. The art lies in your personality, the leadership muscle you built to date and your capacity for growth. As each organisation and individual are different, so does each assessment of development needs. Individualised executive coaching will yield a higher return on investment, provided you look at the coaching question holistically.

BLR framework

The BLR framework, which stands for Business-Leadership-Resilience, is my way of looking at C-level transitions holistically. Experience taught me that beyond your expertise and experience to date, you need to adjust to the ‘new heights’ of the role.

Over a decade ago, I traveled to the Himalayas on a road trip starting in Manali, Northern India. A risky endeavour, it allows you to sense the magnificent scope of the Himalayas. I remember a crucial turning point, when at about 4000 metres, we arrived at another plateau from which we could now see the heights of mountain tops reaching 6000 to 8000 metres. That’s how it might feel like when you arrive in your C-level role. The world looks different, the oxygen levels are different and you need to adjust your energy, capabilities and priorities to it fast.

In brief:
• Business: do you see the new landscape in which you operate? Do you see the new levers you can pull and how your work with the executive team and the board to achieve them?
• Leadership: How do you make your strategic agenda come alive? How do you engage your team and the organisation more broadly? How do you ensure you don’t end up in an ivory tower?
• Resilience: what keeps you in balance as you navigate your way across different levels in the organisation and through stormy weather?

The bottom line

Some of the transitions to the ‘new heights’ will come naturally to you, as they build on your strengths. Others will require some work. Having a clear view on the road ahead, based on your unique business situation and personal needs, followed by a strong partnership over a period of 9-12 months to work through your transition, is what an executive coaching journey provides to you.

So What ?

Your success as a CEO doesn’t only depend on your savviness to understand how to capture maximum value in your market, and translate it into a business model that brings high financial power to compete. It also depends on your ability to engage your organisation through the necessary change to behave in a way that serves the strategy, the customer and all societal stakeholders. It depends on your ability to build trust.

The engagement and trust necessary to compete on the market are created by leadership.

"The Definition of Genius is Taking the
Complex and Making it Simple".

Albert Einstein
Make it simple