In talking with a senior leader recently she was asked if she had made any career missteps and if so how did she navigate her way out of them?
I thought this question very interesting as we often assume when we see people who have had these huge successful careers that they know exactly what they doing along the way. That they are so good they just climb the corporate ladder one step at a time, no problems at all. When in actuality this can be far from it.
Just because these high level executives are now in positions with significant power and responsibility doesn’t mean they had a straight and unchallenged pathway to get there. Everyone makes wrong turns, it’s a fact of life. The key in this leader’s response back was having faith in yourself, and in a way practicing self-coaching. The self-coaching is the crucial piece becuase utlimately at the end of the day you are the only one that knows what you truly want and you are the only one that get yourself there.
She said that everyone is human and it’s those wrong turns and misguided steps that we take where we often learn our best lessons. The critical piece is knowing how to coach yourself to find your true direction that you want to go in, acknowledging the skills or added knowledge you will need to get there, and taking the action to make that happen.
Just because these high powered senior leaders seem to have it all, this doesn’t mean they always have. After all, they are human too right?