There is nothing more dangerous than personal success that is achieved over and over again for the same reason – and with the same strategy. In a world characterised by complexity, uncertainty and disruption, the same applies to managers as to the entire company: yesterday’s success is tomorrow’s failure! The future-proof development of a company is simply impossible without the personal development of every decision-maker at the top.
The times of heroic, omniscient leadership are gone: successful top executives in particular must be prepared to develop a sovereign self: moving from a “know it all” manager towards a “learn it all” leader. They have to step out of the comfort zone of behavioural routines of the past and into the learning zone of constant personal growth.
Daring to boost yourself
The barriers to self-development are high, especially at the top of the company – we know that from twenty years of experience. Upper management is a “pressure chamber of the present” – it leaves little time and space for personal development. The dynamics of the alpha game reward self-confident assertion, not self-reflective development. Nevertheless, the highest barriers are not the external ones, but the internal ones: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or “I want to stay authentic!” We are confronted with sentences like these far too often – especially from the successful managers. The underlying attitude of “I want to stay the way I am” is an illusionary and self-damaging avoidance tactic, especially in our times of rapid transformation. By thinking this way, people stay in a “fixed mindset” and won’t venture out of their comfort zone. Lasting success at the top of a company, however, requires a “growth mindset” – the will to step resolutely into self-development.
Self-development in our VUCCA world means consciously deciding to lead in a sovereign way – which is a paradoxical but effective blend of highest ambition in business and humility on the personal side. It means having the courage to follow your own purpose; the courage to take off the armour of self-protection and to allow vulnerability; the courage not to know and to avoid quick, routine judgements; and the courage to create followership for a cause, not for your own person. We accompany you on this path as coaches and advisors: close to the person, challenging, appreciative.