Erika Andersen, founder of Proteus International and author of Being Strategic: Plan for Success, Outthink Your Competitors, Stay Ahead of Change, joined our show recently. You can listen here for the insights and inspiration she shared.
During the show I asked her:
As people move up in a career ladder, move up in the standard hierarchical, top-down, command and control environment how do they avoid their own American Idol syndrome?
I read a study a few years ago that said the 2 biggest derailment factors for executives were:
- not listening to accurate data from the people around them, and
- not having those sources of data; not having people around them who will tell them the truth.
So, not having the people to tell the truth and not willing to hear it when it’s told to them when they do... are the two-sides of the same coin that is shown in this study to be the biggest factor of derailment for executives.
Erika does not present a problem without also offering a solution. She continued.
There are three skills to use to do this [avoid our own American Idol syndrome.]
- Being a Fair Witness
- Pulling Back the Camera
- Sorting for Impact or Fit
If you know you have to be a fair witness to accurately envision and move towards the future for you and your company then you will find a way to get that data.
There are two ways to do this.
1. Good leaders put in systems that will collect the data. They have ways of doing employee surveys. They get real data about how people are doing....They have good metric-based ways of getting the data to allow them to be a fair witness.
2. They are smart enough to create the relationships with those that work with them that are based on trust and authenticity. Those people can and will them the truth. And how you do that is you listen to them. If you as a leader can never shoot the messenger...no matter what the message...then that person will come again and again when they have another problem or concern.
If you are engaged consistently with your team in being strategic it’s much more likely to come out as part of the conversation.
She talks more about these three mental skills, the deceptively simple definition of being strategic, and some inspiring client profiles of those who were able to live the daily habit of Being Strategic.
You can read highlights of our conversation here.
FTC disclaimer: Other than two free copies of her book and the joy of learning from her book and her conversations on our radio show there was no compensation. I am way ahead in my life as a result. I hope you are will be, too.