Recently, I coached an MD for a leadership assessment with the amazing organizational psychologist, Renee Bellamy Booth, who co-wrote with Keith Wyche a guide to executive life. The MD was successful and is now enjoying his influential post. For those at the top, here’s Booth and Wyche’s advice:
Reality 1: What made you successful then, won’t now.
Reality 2: You don’t know everything.
Reality 3: Criticism will be more intense.
Reality 4: You’re not alone, but sometimes you will feel like you are.
Reality 5: The perception gap widens. You have to see yourself how others see you now.
Reality 6: Your values will be put to the test.
Reality 7: Embrace constructive conflict.
Reality 8: In this role, reputation is everything. As leader, you are always on the clock, always on display and being judged.
Reality 9: The company can’t love you back. You need an authentic life.
Reality 10: Your time is limited, know when and how to leave the role.
Their book is called ‘Corner Office Rules: The 10 Realities of Executive Life’. Booth and Wyche’s work has been a useful reference point (among others) in adapting my c-level competence framework for coaching senior executives and directors who aspire to CEO, CIO, COO, CFO or similar roles.