If you’ve ever held a light bulb on a string, you know that the closer it is to the ground, the smaller, the circle of light. As the bulb moves upwards, the circle of light gets wider but dimmer.
Leadership isn’t much different. The closer you are to the ground, the smaller your circle of impact, and the higher up you go, the more people you impact.
But the challenge, as with the light-bulb, is that the further up the chain you go, the less intensely and directly your impact is felt.
Think about how many changes in leadership you have experienced in your career, and how directly you felt the impact of those changes.
The further up the food chain the change occurs, the less it typically matters in your immediate world. As an executive, how do you maintain strength as you ascend the corporate ladder?
It’s a real conundrum, since in most organizations the higher you go, the less feedback you get about your performance and, equally important, your impact. Leadership can be lonely, in that it can feel like no one is there to have your back.
“Americans are turning to paid confidants – in 1950, Americans had a combined total of 33,000 paid confidants… By 2010 that number was estimated to be 1,091,000.” Michael Lee Stallard – Connection Culture
In the coaching work we do with executives, people come into the process for a variety of reasons, but inevitably conversations surround one common question:
“How do I increase my impact?”
The answer leads us back to the light bulb. There are two ways to shine bright – you either increase your wattage (build skills and competencies relevant to your role), or you create transparency around the things that create shadows (your habits, your filters, your blind spots). Both allow you to shine more brightly no matter how far you are from the ground.
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