Emerging Leader

Go Slow to Go Fast!

Today in London I had coffee with a fellow Australian who holds non-executive chairman roles and has held some very senior executive positions in his distinguished career. I was keen to learn his views on what emerging leaders need to know and do to ensure their career success.

Having committed myself to accelerating the development of the next generation of leaders, I find it helpful to either reinforce or extend my existing knowledge on the subject.

His comments did both.

We agreed that some things have changed since his days as a young leader stepping up into big roles in his 20's and 30's, compared to today's new generation of leaders. These include:

  • There used to be more middle management roles to enable progression
  • Career path choices were more simple and straight forward

Baby Boomer Time Bomb = Opportunity for Emerging Leaders

An article in the Business Recruitment Section of the Evening Standard on Tuesday highlights the rapid demographic shift as more baby boomers head towards retirement age. There is a danger and opportunity associated with this.

Francois Moscovici, an expert in retaining talent in business, points out that we are heading towards a shortage of 30 - 44 year olds. As more senior people start to retire or scale back their hours, the next generation of leaders will need to step up quite quickly. In many cases, they will be managing people older than themselves. This can lead to conflict as the younger leader is typically more ambitious and driven. Moscovici points out that will be essential that they acquire coaching and influencing skills to be effective.

How to Kick the Imposter Syndrome

On Saturday, I gave a talk about the "imposter syndrome."

It is not uncommon for emerging leaders to experience the imposter syndrome when they step up into a much bigger role at a relatively young age. Excitement about the opportunity is often mixed with some fear of failure.

Here is a simple approach that will help you get the balance right and build your confidence.

We can experience the imposter syndrome when we find ourselves in a situation and then start to question whether we're actually good enough to be there, and whether we'll cope with any challenges. There is a little voice inside our head telling us that we may fail because we are trying to do something we've not done before. We can feel like a fraud, waiting to be found out!

How we relate with that little voice makes all the difference.

Here are 3 different ways (illustrated by examples from my own life):

Example 1.