Do you know what role you want for your next promotion?
How about the role you want, three promotions from now?
If you’re like the majority of corporate women and male minority leaders I speak to, you have big, bold dreams for the future, but you’re lacking an actual plan to get there.
Don’t worry. I’m here to help.
Executive Essentials is a 3-part podcast series designed to help you build the skills you’ll need to advance to a senior executive level.
In each part of this series, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be in my Executive Ahead of Time program AND you’ll have access to some of the tools and tips that I usually only give out to my paid clients.
In Part 1 of this series, I will show you how to think like an executive leader so you can get clear on where you want to go in your career AND understand the exact steps you’ll need to take to get there.
If you listen to this episode and think to yourself “I want to think and act like a senior executive now”, then my 6-week group coaching program is just the thing for you. I designed Executive Ahead of Time to help corporate leaders like YOU access the skills, confidence and unparalleled support you’ll need to reach a higher level executive position. Learn more at www.ExecutiveAheadOfTime.com.
What You'll Learn:
- The top questions you need to be asking yourself if you want to think like (and become) a senior executive leader
- What 3xing your vision is and why it’s the first step to thinking like a high level leader
- How getting clear on where you want to go in your career will unlock major growth
- The benefit of determining where you’re spending most of your time and energy right now
- Two ways to know if you’re building trust with your boss at that senior executive level
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Ep #59: Why You Need to Surround Yourself with Leaders Who Inspire You
- Register for Executive Ahead of Time, live coaching begins March 17th.
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 guys again this week. I am just feeling the love. I've gotten a couple of emails and instant messages from you guys, just saying how much the podcast has helped you, how much it has supported you. And I just want you to know that these messages and your ability to implement this work does not go unnoticed. I am doing this podcast for you, and I know that you have a lot of choices in terms of what you listen to and how you spend your day, and I just want to say how grateful I am for you and your ability to show up for yourself. Because it keeps me going. It keeps me wanting to create more and more and think about you more and more and really just give you as much knowledge as I can, because you deserve to have a seat at the executive leadership table. And not just the seat, but I want you to have a voice. And this podcast and the tools that I teach help you get there. So if I can help you get there in half the amount of time, then I am here to do that. So thank you. Thank you for listening. And I am forever grateful.
So speaking of gratitude, before I get into today's episode, I want to tell you a very specific story about an email that I did receive this week from, not a client, from a listener of my podcast, from a reader of my emails, and also from a very dear friend. It is a person that has been in my life for quite some time. And I want to share with you a little bit of background about his story and how we know each other, because I think it'll be really useful. And knowing you as a listener, I think you'll actually enjoy that. And then we'll get into today's episode.
So this is a person that I met, oh gosh, maybe 10 years ago through a meditation center that I went to on a regular basis. So I have a background in meditation. I used to be a meditation teacher as well. I contribute meditation to be a really big changing force in my life. And this is somebody that I met through the meditation center. I feel particularly close with him because he actually met his wife at the meditation center. I met my husband at the meditation center. We each have two kids. So we have this group, this mutual group of friends that we all met through the meditation center. Basically around the same time I started dating my husband, he was dating his now wife. And then, of course, the rest is history.
So anyway, I have a deep relationship with him. And part of the reason why I'm sharing with you this meditation background is going to be relevant for you here in a minute.
So he sent me an email about how he just got a promotion to a vice president position at his organization that he works for. And then he said that he's been listening to my podcast. And I know that he does, and he's been reading my emails. And then it finally sunk in. And he attributes listening to all of this as to why he actually went for this vice president position.
Now, let's go back a little bit. So I think this is where you can really relate to this. For him, title is not important necessarily. He never thought of himself as somebody who had this desire to climb the corporate ladder. What he wanted to do was make a bigger impact. He wants to maximize his effectiveness at his organization. That's what actually matters to him. What matters to him is the work that his organization is doing in the world. It's a very powerful company that he works for in terms of giving back and the research that they're doing in the world. And it's very important and near and dear to him. So he really wants to do a good job, but not because he wants the title, but because he wants to be able to be very effective and make a bigger impact at his company.
So that's his goal. And then when you think about it in terms of meditation and the philosophy that I learned in particular through Tibetan Buddhism, is this idea of letting go. This idea of not needing these sorts of external things to happen for us in order to feel happy, that we can just feel content and happy as we are today. That's a big core philosophy that everything is fine, essentially. We don't need something more.
And then there's the secondary philosophy, which is: yes, emptiness, we don't need it, but we can still go for it. So in terms of the impact that we want to be making, because we know that our higher self, our higher calling is meant to do really big things in the world, but not from a place of lack, but just from a place of growth. As human beings we're meant to grow, we're meant to evolve, and we're meant to share our gifts.
So this is my philosophy. I won't put words into his mouth. But he did share with me in the email this idea that he wasn't necessarily looking for a title change. But over the past year, he's been talking to his boss about a possibility of getting promoted into a vice president level position. Its kind of seemed like things were sort of in the works, but they were moving very slowly. No real changes were happening.
And so because he listens to this podcast and he sort of figures, well, why not? Why not me? Why not me and a vice president role? I am perfectly qualified. I'm ready to do it. And more importantly, I can certainly make a bigger impact at my organization if I had that title. So he saw a vice president position at another company come up and he applied for it. And he got offered the job at this other company. So instead of just leaving his current job, he went back to his boss and had a conversation and then his boss decided: 'Oh, you know what? I think it's time to promote you to vice president.'
And you've seen this happen before. And you've probably thought about it yourself as a strategy to leave your organization. 'Well, if I have an offer on the table, I can come back to them and say, 'hey, pay me more money or I have this offer, so pay me more money. Basically, give me a higher title. Almost like an ultimatum.''
But in his case, that's not exactly what he was doing. He interviewed for this vice president position at this other organization because he was curious. He was curious if he did, in fact, want the title that comes along with it. He just wanted to explore the possibility. He didn't need anything from his organization, from his current situation. He just wanted to make a bigger impact. He wanted to try and do something different.
And so that's basically the process that happened for him. And this is the process that happens for a lot of my clients and my listeners, is because, once we start to become the Executive Ahead of Time, we no longer need our organization to validate us. So I've talked about this before. But the interesting thing that happens at in my program is people aren't necessarily going to go apply for jobs when they sign up for the program. But they sign up for the program and then they start to realize, you know what, I do want to make a bigger impact. I do want to be doing things at a higher executive level. So then they'll start applying for jobs, right. Both internally at their organization or outside of their organization. They just start exploring the possibility from a place of curiosity, not from a place of gaspiness or neediness or 'I need this job. I have to actually get this job in order to feel happy or successful,' or whatever that is for them.
And with my friend, congratulations. I'm super excited for him and this big promotion. What's interesting is, you could think: 'Oh, well, now he has the title and so our work is done right? He listened to my podcast. He felt curious. He put himself out there.' And I would still recommend that he do the work that I talk about and teach in Executive Ahead of Time. And here's why.
So you might be somebody who recently received a promotion, or you feel like: 'OK, well. I've got that settled. I was able to apply what Stacy says on her podcast, and I was able to get some recognition. And that feels really great.'
Two things need to happen now is now you have to know why that happened. You have to know exactly what you did to make that happen so that you can continue it. So if you're listening to this podcast, you probably have 20 plus years left in your career. You're going to have many, many, many more promotions, many job changes, many ideas for growth. Many desires to make a bigger impact at your organization. It doesn't stop there. So you've got the next promotion and the next promotion. So you need to know what you're actually doing in order to recreate this so that we kind of get off that rollercoaster of getting something and then pulling back and then getting something and getting stuck. So we want to get off that roller coaster and we want to just know and be very proactive in our career choices.
And then the other thing is, is that once we get the promotion, once we make it into that executive level position, if we haven't done the foundational principles that I teach an Executive Ahead of Time, if we haven't actually worked on those skills, then that's when we run the risk of struggling once we get into that executive level position. And the only reason that we run the risk of struggling is not because we're not capable of doing the job. It's actually because we start to feel like we have to prove ourselves because we're not certain exactly what we did to own and earn that job exactly. We're not certain about our goals. We're not certain about what we need to do differently in terms of executive communication.
So that is just my rant here, but also big kudos to my friend and his organization, quite frankly, for being smart enough to put him in a vice president level role. I have no doubt he's just going to be absolutely incredible.
So if you're somebody who's been listening to this podcast for a while and implementing what I'm saying, getting some level of results, I really want to encourage you to consider Executive Ahead of Time. We just opened up for enrollment for our March cohort. And in this program, I'm going to take you through a six-week intensive where you learn all of those foundational elements.
So whether you've already received the promotion, or you have a desire to get a promotion, to get more recognition at your company, whatever it is, without these key factors, you are always going to be at the whim of your organization and not be owning your career choices.
So when I talk about how the program teaches you to become the Executive Ahead of Time, becoming the Executive Ahead of Time is essentially equivalent to owning your career. Owning your career choices. That is what an executive does, right? They own the decisions that they make. They own their power, their influence, the impact that they want to make. So all of that is what we work on in Executive Ahead of Time so that you're actually making those active, proactive choices so that you can continue to recreate it. You can stay away from burnout and you are really, ultimately, creating the career and the life that you love and that you want to be in for the next 20 years.
So the purpose of today's episode is actually to continue to share with you and to paint this picture of what it's like to be in Executive Ahead of Time, the program.
And there are two key elements to Executive Ahead of Time. And that's why I'm going to put together a three-part series. So this is part one.
And in today's episode, I'm going to be talking to you about what it means to begin thinking like a senior executive leader. And then in part two, I'm going to talk about what it means to begin communicating like a senior executive leader. And then in part three, I'm going to give you an example from one of my incredible clients, Jennifer Fisher, who was recently promoted to senior vice president of her organization. And I'm going to have her map out for us what it actually looked like in practical terms for her to become the Executive Ahead of Time, for her to step into that higher level leadership role. And that eventually landed her a promotion. But now she has that foundation. She has those core principles, and now she's going to have even more success at the senior vice president level role.
So that's the three-part series. And today's focus is on thinking like a senior executive leader. And the process that I'm going to take you through on today's podcast, and we go much deeper into it in the Executive Ahead of Time program, is essentially where it is that you want to go.
So Module 2 in the program is called 3xing your vision. This is a core philosophy in terms of getting clarity on where it is that you want to go and why you want to be there.
So 3xing your vision. I'll just explain and define that for you really quickly. Is not your next promotion, not the promotion after that, but your promotion after that?
So let's say you're already in a director level role. What we're looking at is not the senior director, not the VP role that you'll have some day, but the SVP role you'll have someday. And this can be by some day, I mean, like five, 10 years even.
So that's the way that we're going to start thinking about it. So let's say that you're in a director level role and I ask you what your three vision is and its senior vice president. And I'm using titles because it's very simple and easy for you to see. But for you, it could be anything. A promotion could be having more global responsibility. A promotion could be leading a larger team. A promotion could be a higher profile project. A promotion could be an actual seat at the table. A promotion could be a voice at the table. There are all these different ways that we define promotions for ourselves. And so you get to define that. But just because it's really easy to visualize, I'm just going to look at it and say, moving from director level to senior vice president level, that's your three X vision, is that someday I would like to become a senior vice president.
And so the process that I take you through in Executive Ahead of Time is what does it mean to think like a senior vice president? These are the questions that you're going to start to ask yourself.
How does a senior vice president make decisions differently than how I am making decisions today? What type of relationships does the senior vice president have that I do not have today? What type of meetings, what is their level of impact at those meetings that a senior vice president has that I do not have today?
Now, you see with each one of these scenarios, I am talking about how you are thinking like a senior executive leader, because it starts there. It starts with clarity. Where am I headed and what do I want and why? Why do I want to make a bigger impact at my organization?
We had a woman who joined Executive Ahead of Time. In this 3xed vision was literally the most profound outcome that she had as a result of this program. And so you could say: OK, why am I going to spend two thousand dollars to do a six-week coaching intensive? And my biggest take away is a 3xed vision. Like, I could do that right now. Like I could do that. I could write down, OK, I want to become a senior vice president.' Here is why it was so important for her and so profound over the six weeks.
So first of all, the reason there was so profound is because she had never really thought about it before. So you might be at that stage, you're listening to today's podcast and you're like: 'Oh, I never really thought about what my three X vision is. You're always thinking about the next step, the next promotion. You're not thinking that far out.' OK, great.
So that's easy, right? We're doing that right now. You're doing that on today's podcast. You're starting to just at least think about it. So she had never really even thought about it.
What she thought about instead was that she was stuck, that she was frustrated that she was getting passed over for promotions, that she wasn't making the impact that she wanted to make, that every time she had a conversation with her SVP, he just asked her to do stupid reports that she no longer wanted to be doing. This wasn't how she saw herself in her career, that she knew she was meant for something more. She knew that she could succeed at a higher executive level. So those are all the things that she thought about. But she really never thought about where do I see myself five, ten years from now? And the reason that she couldn't think about it is because she was so stuck in her problems. What was actually happening today?
So over the course of the six-week program, and like I said, this is just module two out of the six modules that I teach you. Over the course, she said: 'Oh, OK. What is my 3xed vision?'
She said that she wrote out her 3xed vision over the course of six weeks, 15 times. 15 different ways. Because as she got clearer and clearer, it got deeper and deeper as to why she wanted to make this impact. What was the role? What type of job did she actually want three times from now? Like three steps ahead. She just got clearer and clearer and clearer. So over the course of six weeks, she wrote it out 15 times, that is how deep we're going to get.
The other thing is this, through the group coaching process, through seeing the other women in the program, she was able to see what was possible for them and start to believe what was possible for her. So her first 3xed vision was probably quite small, and maybe even very superficial. But as she started to empower herself, she started to believe that this was possible. And so that is just so profound in and of itself. If you can walk away from the six weeks knowing and believing, really believing, like in your bones, that you are not only ready for a senior executive role, but that you are fully capable of it.
And like I said, maybe you're already in an SVP position, but you don't have a voice at the table. So for you, it looks a little bit like you are believing that you can make a bigger impact at your organization. You want to have a larger, more strategic voice. You want to have relationships with your CEO, with your board. Not just because, and this goes back to my friend, because we need a title to validate us, no. Because as human beings, we are meant to live our best selves. To live at that higher level and to challenge ourselves and to always be making that impact, whatever it is.
Some of my clients come into Executive Ahead of Time and through this 3xed vision work, they realize they don't want to be at their company. They realize that they want to start their own consulting business. But they had never taken the time to really get clear on why and what the impact is that they really want to make in their world.
And so that is the first step to begin thinking like a senior executive leader is to just really own it, to get clear, to have that level of clarity. And like I said, I take you through this process, this process of questioning it, of pulling it out. Of really knowing and understanding yourself and what are your core values and how does it matter in the world and what did I want to be when I grew up when I was six? And how does that translate now? So we could talk about clarity all day. But that's the first part. It's only the first part of thinking like a senior executive leader.
The second piece of thinking like is senior executive leader is what I was implying, which is how would I be making decisions at that level?
So once we get clear, now we can start to see where we're spending our energy. Where we're spending our time today that we would not be spending it in the future. Now, let's say you have a very tactical job. And so you say, yeah, well, when I'm an executive, I won't be so hands on. I won't be so tactical. I won't be talking about my scorecard all the time. This happens a lot with my engineers. Or even my students who come from a marketing background or sales, I mean anything. Anything where you feel like your job responsibility is actually producing output. Like you get paid not necessarily for your ideas. Sometimes you do, but mostly for the hours that you work, you have certain deliverables, and you have to deliver them. So regardless of what your title is, this happens all the time. And you can feel that way.
This current Executive Ahead of Time group that I'm running, we have a CTO in the group. And so it doesn't matter. Whatever level that you're at, you can still be defining yourself by your output, by your scorecard, by your ability to deliver on whatever your promises are.
And so when you start to think like that 3xed vision, when you start to think like that senior executive leader, you start to realize what are the decisions that I'm making today that I would not be making in the future. Even if you can't really act on them just yet. So just knowing 'I would not be attending these meetings.' Or 'I would not be leading these meetings' or 'I would not be doing press releases myself' or 'I would not be doing the spreadsheets myself' or whatever that is. So the first thing is going to be to understand what we would do as our future self, as that 3xed division.
Then we're going to come back to how would we think differently? How would we think differently if we were in that senior vice president role? How would we choose? How would we communicate? And I'm going to talk more about communicating in next week's episode. But how would we actually be communicating to senior executives if we were in that senior executive leadership role?
Now, you may not know how you would think differently if you were in that SVP role. You might have an idea because you have a boss, or you know a senior vice president, or you know somebody who's already in that 3xed vision. And if you don't know somebody who is in that 3xed vision, go back and listen to my previous episode about how we can put ourselves in a place of inspiration. How we can surround ourselves with other leaders who are living the 3xed vision that we want to live. So if you don't know who they are, that's fine, too. It makes a lot of sense. It's part of the reason that you're not having success is because you're not surrounded by people who actually are living the dream that you want to live someday. But I digress. Go back and listen to that episode after this. I'll link to it in the show notes. But for now, I just want you to start realizing that you're making decisions and choosing things about your life and the way you do your job based on the role you have, not the role you want to have someday. And so as the Executive Ahead of Time and the process that I take you through is to really show you how a senior executive leader thinks differently than you do. So I'm going to give you one example. Hopefully this will get some wheels turning in your head. And I really want to encourage you to sign up for Executive Ahead of Time. Enrollment is only open for three weeks, so don't delay.
But this actually came out in our group coaching session last week. And I was coaching, and I asked: 'How do you know if you're building trust with your boss? How do you know that your boss is trusting you more? Or currently, does your boss trust you?'
And by trust, I mean, does your boss trust that you can lead at a higher executive level? Because most of the time your boss will trust you, that you can do your job now? That's easy. Does your boss trust that you can lead at a senior executive level? And they were just like: 'Yeah, so I was thinking about it, and I think it's like if I'm getting really good projects, if they're asking me for my input, if it seems like we have a great dialogue back and forth,' and things like that.
And I said: 'Yes. All of that is great. But it is not actually thinking like a senior executive leader.' And here's what I mean.
So there's two things wrong with that response. One is, is my boss giving me these projects? Which implies that you have to wait and be given projects.
And then the second thing is they're still talking about the projects that they're being given.
So my response was: 'OK, if we're really thinking about our 3xed vision, if we're thinking like the senior executive leader, the correct answer to that question would be more like: 'Am I being pulled into the conversation for my ideas? Are they asking for my perspective? Do I feel like a peer with my boss?' Those are all signs that you're building trust with your boss at that senior executive level. That they're starting to see you as an executive. Just giving you projects isn't enough, right? Are they pulling you into the conversation? Do they actually care? And then the second way you'll know if you're building trust with your executive is if you literally no longer care what your executive thinks because you are owning your career choices. You're not waiting for your boss to give you certain projects.
So two ways you're going to know is are you being pulled in for your ideas? And do I feel like I really own it, that I can go up to my boss and present ideas? So both of those ways. And this is the magic of my Executive Ahead of Time program. Is that, on the surface, you're going to look at these three core training modules and think that it's a leadership training program. And I laugh because it's not. It is a program that teaches you how to think and communicate like a senior executive leader. This is very different than a leadership training program. And the difference is exactly what I just relayed to you.
Everything I'm coaching you on, everything I'm teaching you in this podcast, every situation I am looking for, are YOU acting like the Executive Ahead of Time? Are you thinking and communicating like an executive or are you still thinking and communicating like the role you have? And again, it's not your fault if you don't know what that means. Join the program. I map it out. I don't just map it out. I walk you through it. So the more times you hear me say: 'No, it's not just about the projects you're receiving, it's about your ideas.' And then once you go another step deeper, which is what does it mean, ideas? What does that mean? What does strategy mean? What am I supposed to be doing? And you know, all of this stuff? I map all of that stuff out for you. I show you what it means.
You get to see from the other executives in the group, from the other leaders, from the other people who are aspiring to do more at their organization. You get to learn from them and see yourselves in them. That is the power of Executive Ahead of Time. That is why in only six weeks it has a huge, profound effect on the rest of your career.
We all know that foundation is so important. We all know that building a strong foundation and building off of that foundation is so important. And so if you feel like you're on a rocky boat right now and you don't have a strong foundation, if you feel like you're stuck, if you feel a little bit frustrated, if you feel like you don't have the answers. Come into Executive Ahead of Time.
If you have questions, I am here for you to answer them. If you're not sure if this program is right for you. But I tell you, to be honest, if you listen to my podcast, if you are inspired by what I'm talking about, if you've implemented some of it, some of it's working and you can already tell the difference, getting that clarity over the next six weeks is going to be everything for you.
So I invite you to join the program. Go to www.ExecutiveAheadofTime.com. I invite you to do the work. I invite you to start to think and communicate like a senior executive leader.
Now, next week, I may be diving more in and giving you examples of what it means to communicate like the Executive Ahead of Time. But for this week, just start thinking. Think about it. What would I do differently if I was in that senior executive leadership role?
Thank you so much for listening and have a wonderful week.
About Your Host
Hi! I'm Stacy Mayer, a Certified Executive Coach and Promotion Strategist on a mission to bring more diversity to the leadership table by getting 1000 underrepresented corporate managers promoted into senior executive positions each year worldwide.
I help undervalued executives scale to the C-Suite using repositioning strategies that build your confidence and visibility, so you can earn the recognition and support you need from key stakeholders while embodying your unique leadership style.
My podcast “Women Changing Leadership with Stacy Mayer” tackles topics like executive communication, getting more respect in the workplace from challenging bosses and team members, and avoiding the common mistakes that sabotage career advancement.
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