How to Plan and Grow Your Executive Career

How to Plan and Grow Your Executive Career

You lead a busy life and know you are doing great in your executive-level position.

The idea of managing teams and a business to success fills you with a fiery passion.

Your resume is a track-record of success and there is no one better than you who can develop successful teams.

However, you still do not do enough. This post covers how to manage your executive career when you know there is more you can be doing.

Start thinking long-term when it comes to planning and strategy

You may have a great executive career going today and can prove you are successful now, but as the saying goes, “Here today, gone today.”

Great executive career management requires long-term thinking, planning, and strategy. It involves investing beyond today and years into the future, not just being great at picking up new trends in the moment.

Even if you are thinking, “I am successful. I do not see what I have to worry about”, you have to think about where you will be in 10, 15, or 20 years. New technology, inflation, health, family, and an ever-changing workforce means you run the risk of losing all the great things you had accomplished.

Avoid this common mistake about job searching

The most common mistake people make is thinking the right time to job search is when you don’t have a job or will lose your current one.

The reality is an executive career requires always keeping your eyes open on a job search for that next position and “getting out while the getting is good”.

Job searching is a requirement for all executives, all the time because executives always need to leave the company at the peak of its success.  

This line “Go out on top!” thinking is why most people do not like becoming executives. It requires owning your decisions and successes, right or wrong,  so much so that executives do not stick around for the accolades.

They move onto bigger and better projects, usually leaving others scratching their heads wondering, “But I thought all was going well? Why leave now?”

Why? Think about it for a moment: Would a company rather hire an executive to run it after he/she was laid off, or after he/she just closed a $50 million dollar-merger? One of the best ways to secure a new, better position is to go on the job hunt right after a major accomplishment.

Be the executive of two careers rolled into one

All executives should plan to manage two types of careers:

  1. Business
  2. Personal life

Doing this requires creating as much cross-functional career planning as possible so that business and personal executive moves start to serve one another.

For example, an executive with great business skill chooses to make time to learn what is going on in his/her son’s life. During that time, the executive discovers how certain technology works and how his son thinks, acts and interacts with others.

Because of this, the executive is not socially disconnected from the needs and wants of his/her regular employees. Meanwhile, the executive is able to plan and afford his/her son’s education through investments and possible opportunities while keeping the son on a solid career path.

Decide on your code of ethics, morals, and character

Every executive has to decide on their core values. They must decide on their code of ethics, morals, integrity, and character. This is even truer today than ever before due to the possibility of executives being thrust into the spotlight after something negative on social media.

Every executive must be comfortable within their skin when making a decision that affects people’s jobs and lives. Additionally, they must be comfortable with explaining it to everyone.

When an executive has a strong code of ethics, morals, integrity, and character, making difficult business decisions is easier.

The strength of these qualities determines a leader’s ability to explain decisions and gain followers in the process.

How to discover what makes you valuable

Pick up your resume and look at it carefully. Read the information out loud to yourself. And while you are doing this, start to draw a line through the experiences you simply find unattractive to you.

Next, go back and read what is left. You are doing this for a reason. Companies will never decide what makes you valuable on your behalf.

They expect you to know. In order to target future opportunities properly, you have to be able to say out loud, “I know I will be of great value for this opportunity because [insert reasoning].”

Write a Top 10 list of everything that makes you valuable and then memorize it. Watch how it liberates you from fear during your executive interviews.

Build a brand around your values and code of ethics

The most desirable executives possess a unique point of view that shows the ability to think outside the box or offers something no one else has; a personality of its own.

It is important to have the business skills, of course, and not just be a collection of unique opinions.

Your brand should be a collection of everything you have done, including links to websites, previous work, and a solid LinkedIn profile.

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