When you were a subject matter expert, chances are you were great at solving problems in your chosen field. But your problem solving superpower can become your weakness when you move into leadership if you do not reinvent it. Reinventing your strength builds your influence and gets you bigger results.
My client Rao was an outstanding individual cyber security contributor. He had an inherent strength of structured thinking, a superpower that came in handy whenever there were complex technical problems to solve. But he struggled with the transition from expert to leader. In his mind, only he could solve the technical problems his group faced. It would take too long to explain it to someone else, he said. But his team members complained he was a control freak and micro manager. What was worse his clients said he was not listening to them. Simple problems became convoluted and exhausting through his tendency to overthink them.
The light bulb moment for him occurred when he realised, he was going to burn out if he continued his internal dialogue that only he could solve problems. It was time to reinvent his superpower. The new problem he faced was how to get the best out of the people around him. That meant he embraced a new conversation about “helping others create a new future.” He backed up his new declaration with a practice of listening and asking questions instead of rushing to solutions. Listening to his team and clients made him more attuned to the problems they faced. Reinventing his problem-solving strength has made him sought after as a game-changing leader.
Business models and company strategies are being reinvented right now. That will increase the requirement for leaders who can take us through the uncertain future ahead. Don’t forget to invest in personal reinvention if you want to take advantage of the increasing demand for game-changing leaders.
In this clip, I outline a simple way technical experts can reinvent themselves to be a leader who is sought after.
🙋 What attributes do you admire in leaders? 🙋♀️
Best regards, Brian