Wednesday anecdote: Executive client found her leadership voice

She was the behind the scenes operations executive who knew how to make things work. The last two jobs were in the COO role but now she wanted her shot at the top spot.
“I’ve made the last two CEOs for whom I’ve worked look really good,” she shared. “That’s fine. It’s part of my job. But, neither of them had a clue as to how the business ran. They were just good communicators.”
After visiting at length it was clear she was not angry at her former bosses. She was mostly frustrated that she couldn’t find her leadership voice to convince recruiters and hiring committees that she was ready for the CEO job.
“I keep making the finals but coming up short in interviews,” she said. “How do I push this over the top?”
The job of the CEO goes beyond the operational details of the company. Communicating the vision and holding the confidence of all the stakeholders is a central skill necessary for the job. Our client knew the ins and outs of how to make the business work. We needed to work on helping her project her strength.
It’s a process that involves executive coaching as well as intense interview practice. The combination was her formula for success.
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