Whether you are already a leader or an aspiring leader, chances are you want to achieve success over a long period of time. These days it is not uncommon for people to find that they are in senior level roles in their early to mid thirties. On one hand this is positive on the other hand you still probably have 30 plus years of your career ahead of you.
While it is relatively easy to achieve individual successes, the real challenge is how to have sustained success as a leader over the longer term. This means being able to thrive despite changes in the economy, customer or client preferences, setbacks or even major failures.
Truth is there no guarantees when it comes to leadership success in the long term. At the same time there are things that you can do and actions that you can take to increase the likelihood of sustained success over the longer term. So what are some of the things that you can do?
Recognise you are never the finished article
Be honest it is a great feeling when you achieve a promotion and especially when you move into leadership for the first time. Yet the truth is that until this point you have been on path that is all about getting that first break into a formal leadership role. Once you achieve this you step on to a very different path, where the expectations, demands and pressures change. As you conquer some of these challenges new and different demands arise.
What this means for you as a leader is that you need to be willing to continue work on your growth and development, even when you are in a leadership role, so see leadership success as being ongoing work in progress.
Identify the building blocks
When we take on something new it always seems like a huge mountain. After a while when we have done it a few times it just comes naturally. When planning your career and success strategy, it is important to identify the building blocks. These are simply the types of skills, experience, knowledge and attributes that you will need to work on to achieve the longer term success you desire.
Don’t expect to find a shortcut
Being a leader carries with it huge responsibility. You are no longer just responsible for your own self but also have responsibilities to employees, customers or clients, service users, shareholders and stakeholders to name just a few. Becoming highly competent in each of these areas of responsibility takes time, so don’t expect to find a shortcut.
Bottom Line – You can either choose to achieve sporadic or sustained success as a leader. What choice do you make?
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.