Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer. Super excited, as always, to be here with you this evening as I'm recording this podcast episode.
And I am really giddy with anticipation. I have a new executive group coaching program that is about to launch. I think when this episode comes out, it'll be just a few days away. And I am so unbelievably excited about bringing in this new cohort of executive leaders and really setting them up to get promoted into that next level of leadership. As you know, my mission is to bring more diversity to the leadership table and this program is helping that happen.
So if you haven't already checked it out, definitely go do that. Go to www.ExecutiveAheadOfTime.com. This is a six-week group training program where I give you everything you need to know to set yourself up for that promotion into a senior executive leadership role AND to ensure that you're going to have success once you get there.
Because the thing is, promotions are decided upon long before their offer is actually given to you. So I want to set you up not only for a promotion in 2021, but I want to set you up so that you are actually scaling yourself and preparing for that C suite inevitable role that is in your near future. So if this sounds fun to you and you want to get started right away, then definitely go to wwww.ExecutiveAheadOfTime.com, check out all of the information, and get registered right away. Because I think we're starting soon. So I want to make sure you get to be a part of this incredible program.
In today's episode, we're continuing our conversation about C-Suite Secrets. Those things that your CEO doesn't actually tell you, but are very important if you want to get promoted into a senior executive leadership role.
In the first part of the series, I talked about what your CEO actually means. So your CEO tells you one thing, but they mean something different. And it's not that they're lying to you. It's just that it's really difficult for you to be able to infer what it is that they actually want you to be doing.
So if this has ever been a challenge for you, you get mixed messages, you're not sure what you're supposed to be doing in order to set yourself up for leadership success, then definitely go check out episode #44.
In part #2 of our series C-Suite Secrets, I showed you exactly what you need to be doing if you want to build that trust with the executive team that you are ready to get promoted into that senior executive role. This is not always something that your CEO or other members of the leadership team are just walking around, sharing right and left, telling you all of the things. These are things that you need to go out and ask better questions to figure out what it's going to take to actually get you promoted. And then I give you those answers, essentially. I tell you what it is going to take to get you promoted into that senior executive leadership position.
And then, in this series today, in part three of C-Suite Secrets, I'm going to be showing you that c-suite mindset. Everything that you need to be thinking and believing in order to make sure that you are set up to succeed at that senior executive level. Because let's face it. There are limited opportunities at the top, and I want you to get one of those opportunities. So we just have to work a little bit smarter in order to make sure that that's going to happen.
So I'm super excited to share this information with you today, and I know it's going to be very valuable. Now, before I get into the actual tips that I'm going to share with you and the thoughts that I want you to be having, that mindset that I want you to be having, I want you to understand why you don't have the C suite mindset already.
90 percent of corporate managers at the senior manager or director level report that they are too busy in their job in order to spend time on their professional development. And think about it. Is this true for you as well? Do you have a professional development plan? Do you know where you want to be in five years in your career? And do you know exactly what it's going to take to get there? And I'm not talking about having a yearly performance review with your boss where you sit down and you brainstorm ideas. I'm asking you if you have done that for yourself and actually thought about what it's going to take to get you into that senior executive role.
Now, if you're listening to my podcast, you've been a listener for a while, then you're probably somebody who takes this very seriously, because that's pretty much all I talk about, is how to actually create that promotion blueprint for yourself. And part of that promotion blueprint is just simply owning that a professional development plan is an important thing. So I want you to prioritize that. And here's the beauty of it. Once you start prioritizing your professional development, once you start taking your own professional development seriously, then you are going to have more time to be a better leader. Because one of the things that goes hand in hand is if you want to scale yourself to the C suite, you can't be in the weeds all the time. You can't be stressed out. You can't be pulling your hair out. You can't be frustrated. You can't let your emotions get the best of you. Otherwise you won't get promoted into that senior executive leadership role.
So if you're thinking about your professional development, you're going to see those things, those projects, that you need to start letting go of, that you need to prioritize and that you need to focus on.
So the first C-Suite Secret I'm going to give you today is that you need to understand that you want to be in the C suite. You need to own that as a possibility. So that is the mindset that I want you to go into this. To say: 'What would a c-suite executive do in this situation?' So really think about it and own the fact that that is the path that you are on.
I want you to spend some time with this. Because you might understand it in theory and think: 'Oh, you know, it would be great if I was a CRO. I think that would be awesome. It would be fantastic to be a CHRO. I think that would be a really great thing. Sure. That would be fun if they offered me that, right?'
But then I want you to say: 'OK, what if they offered me a chief human resources officer job in 2021? What if that happened?'
What would need to change in your behavior, in your mindset and what you're doing between now and then? What would you actually... And I'm not necessarily talking about the skills that you would have to learn, the management skills. I'm talking about the way that you feel confident, the way you hold yourself, the way you make decisions, the way you manage your time, these are all the things that you're going to have to be thinking about if you want to move into that C suite level position.
So that's the first thing that I want you to understand is: 'I want to be in the c-suite someday. I deserve to be in the C suite someday. My company needs me in the C suite someday.' So these are the thoughts. This is the mindset that I want you to be having, is that you deserve a seat at the table. You deserve a voice at the table.
That is the first thing. Then once you have that, once you understand that you actually do want to be a c-suite executive someday... Oh, and here's another thing. It should make you giggle a little bit. It should make your stomach hurt because it's like: 'Oh, my gosh, what if that actually happened?' And then it should make you giggle out of like: 'That's ridiculous,' right? And I want you to do that. Check in with yourself. Because then that means you're really believing that it's actually possible. It's not something that's outside of yourself, that's far away. It's like: 'Oh, my gosh. What if this actually happens?'.
An example for my own life is, recently as I was launching this new Executive Ahead of Time coaching program... So as I said, my mission is to bring more diversity to the leadership table, and I'm going to do that by getting a thousand corporate managers promoted into senior executive leadership roles each and every year. And up until this point, I've been doing 1:1 coaching. So at most I can get 30, 40 corporate managers promoted in a single year. But once I start scaling that and I actually get into higher and higher numbers because I'm doing a group coaching program, I'm able to effect an impact and actually get more and more managers promoted, I'm getting closer and closer and closer to my goal of getting a thousand managers a year promoted into senior executive leadership positions. And I actually had this like, holy crap moment the other day where I was like: 'Oh, my gosh, this could really happen. What if I actually got my goal right? What if?' And it makes me laugh and it also makes my stomach hurt a little bit. That's the feeling that I want you to be creating. 'I want to be in the C suite someday.'.
The second thought that I want you to be thinking, if you want to get into that c-suite mindset, is that your CEO is actually your peer. Now, so many of my clients, they had really amazing relationships with their CEO before Covid-19. Before they had to start working from home. They would say that their CEO just popped into their office.
And I think that one of the challenges is they thought this kind of just happened. That it was up to the CEO for that to happen. But the reason that the CEO did that was very strategic, right? They wanted to build a relationship with you. They trusted you. They felt compelled to reach out to you. They wanted to know what was going on in your department. They wanted to connect with you. Maybe they respected you. Your CEO doesn't have a ton of time, and if they don't want to talk to you, they're not going to pop into your office.
So if you had that type of relationship before covid-19 and then over the last six, seven, eight months, you haven't, it's very important for you to get on your the CEO's calendar right away for a 15-Minute Peer Meeting.
Because your CEO does want to talk to you, does care about what you have to say. And when you are in that mindset that your CEO is a peer, then you can meet your CEO where they are. You could just connect with your CEO. You don't feel like you have to present something to them every single time that you meet with them. Because here's the thing, when they just popped into your office, did you present something to them? No. Because they just popped into your office. It was impromptu. But now when we have to go schedule that meeting with them, you feel like you have to put this whole thing together. And so then what happens is, first of all, you never schedule it. Or if you do schedule, you botch it because you're trying to sell them on something that's not even that relevant to them.
Now, there's a flip side to this mindset, and that's: you need to be very thoughtful and strategic in your conversations with the CEO. So, yes, meet them as your peer. But also make sure that you're telling them what they need to hear. So learning what kind of water cooler elevator conversations that you need to be having with your CEO is actually a learned skill. It's something that you develop over time. And it's a combination. It's a combination of treating your CEO like a normal person and also understanding what it is that they actually want to hear from you. So it's a balance. But the first thing is it starts with owning the fact that your CEO wants to talk to you, wants to hear from you, actually cares about what you have to say.
The next secret is, I want you to understand and really adopt that mindset that it is your job to build relationships with the entire leadership team, not just your boss. It is so important that you get lots of different people in the organization on your side. If you ask any CEO, it will make their job easier to promote you if more and more people want to see you get promoted.
I know you're like: 'Well, how do I go about doing that?'
You can just build those relationships and prioritize those relationships with the other members of the leadership team. It is so, so, so important that not that your boss isn't the only one advocating for your promotion, that you aren't the only one advocating for your promotion. You want lots of people to be on your side and your CEO is going to promote you into those executive leadership roles, if they know that you're going to get along with the rest of the leadership team. If they know that they want to have meetings with you on a regular basis. They want to hear what you have to say. And that happens first by building trust with the rest of the leadership team.
The fourth C suite secret is understanding and really knowing that you see things that other people don't see. You see things that other people don't see. I know this is true. You know how I know this is true? It's because you're different, you're unique. You are a person that sees things that other people don't see.
Ask yourself, do you see problems? And then pound yourself on the head, like: 'Why can't they see this? Why don't they understand?' You do see things that other people don't see. And if you can own that, then you will always understand the value that you bring into every single conversation. You're going to have those conversations like: I deserve to be here. It matters that I have a voice at this table. It matters that you bring me into the room.
I just had a conversation with a client today. I was talking to her and she was saying how they're revamping the leadership team at her organization after Covid and after some layoffs and trying to kind of piece things back together and figure out what that is. And she's just below that. She's not quite a seat at the table yet, but she's basically there but she's not invited yet, if that makes sense.
And I was like: 'Have you asked to join any in any of these conversations, even with your boss?'.
Because she has a lot of great ideas and she totally sees things different than other people see. And so my invitation with her was to have a conversation about this idea of the revamp and the reorg of the organization with her boss, at least. Let her boss know that she's interested in this, not just interested in a position because she's already done that. She's told them that she wants to have a higher impact at her organization. But how can she actually get in there and get invited to those meetings? The first thing is just owning the fact that you deserve to be there and then she'll speak up.
And the fifth thing that I want you to understand about the c-suite mindset is that you are a part of that solution. So you see problems, you see things that other people don't see, and I also want you to see the solutions and to know how having you on a higher level executive position matters. How it actually solves the problems for the organization.
You know things. You do see things. You know something. If you feel like you're like: 'Well, I don't know exactly how I would fix it, but I just know that it's a problem.' Ask yourself, what do you know? What do you know that you could change, that you could propose, that you could have a conversation with. What are you even curious about? Those are the types of conversations that you could have with the other members of the leadership team. You can just ask them their thoughts are, what they think about the future of your organization. You could also ask them about leadership advice. All of this is going back to #3 is building relationships with the leadership team. It's ways that you can just put yourself out there. And all of this gives you information as to what you actually need to be doing if you want to get promoted into the senior executive leadership roles.
So you see how this works? If you get that c-suite mindset, you really own that you want to be in the c-suite someday. You understand and see that once you actually get into the c-suite, your CEO is going to be your peer. Once you actually get there, so start acting like the Executive Ahead of Time and ask yourself: 'How is my CEO my peer now?' While still being thoughtful about your conversations with them.
Understanding that it is your job to build relationships with the entire leadership team and not just your boss. Make the CEO's job of getting you promoted a lot easier. Make it a no brainer that they put you up for a promotion because of the relationship that you built and the influence that you already have at your organization.
Understand that you see things that other people don't see. I guarantee it's true. I guarantee it. And number five, know that you are a part of the solution. It matters to have you in a senior executive leadership role. And I want you to own that a 150%.
That is what you need to do. If you want to scale yourself to the C suite, you just need to adopt that c-suite mindset. And go back and listen to the other two episodes of the series where you learn what your CEO actually means and what you need else you need to be doing in order to scale yourself to the c-suite, and you will see a shift. You will see a shift in your day-to-day. You will see a shift in your behavior. You'll see a shift in your relationships. And you will see a shift in your happiness. Because you'll be making a bigger impact at your organization today. Not in the future, but today. Because you will have become the Executive Ahead of Time.
Thank you so much for listening, and have a wonderful week.