Expand your leadership if you want to play a bigger game

Catherine landed the biggest deal her business had ever signed. Her global CEO congratulated her in front of the executive leadership team for the impact she had on the company. However, the accolades soon turned to anguish as she confronted the expectations she had created to deliver on the contract. Her confidence sank. Have you felt that moment of self-doubt when it seemed like you had bitten off more than you could chew? How did you deal with it? It’s likely you had to expand your leadership capability.

Maybe you were promoted to a big new role, or extended your current role or perhaps you agreed to an ambitious delivery date for a large-scale project. After you made the commitment, you may have wondered if you had what it takes to deliver on your promise.

In Catherine’s case, she recognised she needed to expand her leadership to match the size of the new game she had taken on. It’s a bit like graduating from weekend jogger to registering for a marathon. You need the fitness to perform at the higher level.

She had to reign in her internal voice that told her she was not smart enough, or capable of delivering and she was in over her head. That mindset shift enabled her to move her attention from herself to her customers. She started a new conversation to be an advocate for her customers, reasoning their success was her success. Catherine’s team bought in to her vision, lifted their leadership and together they delivered a successful contract.

She had expanded her leadership influence to match the size of the new game she was playing.

Marshall Goldsmith summed it up neatly in What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Successful people become great leaders when they learn to shift the focus from themselves to others.’

🙋 How can leaders develop their fitness to play a bigger game in your view? 🙋‍♀️

Best regards, Brian