“I’ve been passed over twice now,” the senior executive shared.

“It’s been over 10 years and we’re on our third CEO. I’m beginning to wonder if the board will ever see me as capable of doing the CEO job.”

“It sounds like you might already know the answer,” I replied.

Heavy sigh. “You’re right. I’ll always be the CFO or COO here. It’s not likely going to change.”

She was very good at her job, a strong leader who got things done. It’s the main reason she survived the last two executive transitions. Most CEO’s want to have their own people in the key C-suite roles.

“Sometimes you have to move out to move up,” I advised. “A new organization will more easily see you in the CEO spot whereas the current one remembers the you of 10 years ago.”

“Can you help me?” she asked.

“Yes, there are plenty of organizations who need a leader who knows how to get things done and turn around an under performing team,” I said. “We just have to identify them, get some conversations going and make sure you powerfully communicate what you do.”

Now she’s in the game in the big chair. It’s just with a different team.

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