Gold Nugget #264: Navigating the Treacherous Ascent to Leadership with Ron Carucci

By February 20, 2018Uncategorized

In episode 264Ron Carucci shares his groundbreaking research on the patterns of successful–unsuccessful–rises to greater organizational power.

You must adapt in order to thrive. Never assume that there is a repeatable formula to success; studies show that this assumption actually a good predictor of failure. You must adapt yourself to the environment just as much as you have to change that environment.When you’re the new guy, it’s inevitable that you might call on past successes or experiences when you encounter similar challenges in your present workplace. But even if you’ve done it countless times, that is not at all predictive that you can do it again in your new environment or in that particular culture. Instead of trying to repeat your prior success, demonstrate competence, tenacity, problem solving, collaboration, and ability to work with difficult people.

Confront relational disruption head on. When you are promoted, the entire relational landscape, changes for you. If you don’t intentionally renegotiate your boundaries between people, things get awkward quickly. It’s important to ask yourself: “How does this relationship need to be redefined in my new world? What parts of how we used to interact can we keep?” Have a healthy, honest and forward-looking conversation with yourself so that you don’t unnecessarily sever relationships or become exploited.

Drop the namedropping. “When I was at Microsoft / FedEx / Apple / fill-in-the-blank.” can quickly become a wearisome phrase for those that hear it repeatedly. Instead…ask questions, be curious, find out what they’ve learned, and offer ideas wen you have them. The origins of the idea are irrelevant.

The price of leadership is the amplification of your image. Everything you do or say now has meaning attached to it. The biggest cause of alienation in leaders is that they become this larger-than-life version of themselves. It comes with the position. The best way to counterbalance some of this is with how transparent you are, how you communicate, how you choose to be accessible and how you make people know you in ways that mitigate their need to make you up.

Increase your odds of success by emulating patterns of leaders. Four patterns of behavior were discovered by Ron and his team to be the continued hallmark of those whose influence stuck and whose impact was sustained. Namely:

  • Breadth – Do you have knowledge and allies across functional and divisional boundaries?
  • Context – Are you asking the right questions?
  • Choice – Do you have the ability to make hard calls?
  • Connection – Do you actively seek ways to help others succeed?

Listen to/read the whole conversation HERE.

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