Advanced Executive Transition Practices that Assess and Build Relationships and Personal Success.

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Stephanie Quarls
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This guide is part of a progression set comprised of Core, Advanced, and Emerging Executive Transition practices.

What it is

An executive’s success relies heavily on the people that they surround themselves with and the reputation that they garner. This rings true for both the team that they have in place, as well as the stakeholder relationships that they cultivate. While each team member provides a critical support system to build and implement strategic priorities, an executive’s stakeholders can make or break the success of an initiative by the amount of support or barriers they put in place. Similarly, who an executive chooses to support them via their personal mentor system can impact their success, either directly or indirectly. 

Just as important is the brand reputation that an executive creates for themselves. This is cultivated through the executive reflecting on the personal brand they want to build, and understanding how they grow that within the organization (and possibly externally as well). However, this is also reflected in how the executive shows measurable value and results against their set goals via clear and concise metrics. Both the people aspects (team + stakeholders + mentors) and the brand reputation (personal + value delivered) serve as direct influences for an executive’s success.

Why use it

While the areas of personal relationships and brand management may seem “soft” to some executives, they have a direct impact on the success they will see in their role. The phrase “a team is only as strong as its weakest player” applies in very much the same way here. The farther an executive climbs up the “corporate ladder”, the greater the importance of soft skills such as relationship and team management, personal brand, and appropriately communicating value delivered.

Each aspect described above can be evaluated and mapped out to determine an optimal set of actions. It’s important for executives to take time to reflect on the strengths (and potential gaps) of the people surrounding them, as well as the state of the reputation they are building. These steps are imperative to building a strong foundation for the executive’s role.

Practice guides at this level

Assessing the existing team to determine strengths and gaps associated with key priorities.

Understanding each member’s strengths and weaknesses of an executive’s new team to assess needs to be addressed for achieving key objectives.

Evaluating stakeholders to understand supporters and blockers for critical initiatives.

Identifying and assessing key stakeholders whose relationships are necessary for achieving success in critical priorities for the executive’s role. 

Creating a personal board of directors to serve as mentors for ongoing support and direction.

Identifying key mentors to keep the executive up to date with the latest trends, support their career development, and serve as a sounding board for challenges.

Defining a set of metrics to measure delivered value and success in the new role.

Creating measures to track and communicate the new executive’s value and results delivered to the organization.

Developing a personal brand and leadership style that defines and augments the leader’s impact on the organization.

Articulating what a leader desires to be known for through attributes and behaviors that most accurately and effectively reflect the executive’s persona.

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