I have been speaking a lot recently to professional women’s networks. The question of confidence often comes up. Women will talk about lacking the confidence to take on a more senior role, to stand up for something (often themselves), to…
It is lonely at the top. That’s a fact borne out in my work with senior leaders. The higher up the organization you go, the fewer peers you have. The people giving you advice have their own agendas, not nefarious ones just not necessarily yours. The parameters for your behavior narrow. When you roll your eyes now or shrug indifferently, it has a much greater impact than before. You have to be more circumspect in sharing your opinion or it will be re-shared often inaccurately and distorted.
Having a sounding board outside the organization can make all the difference. An executive coach can fill that role but so can a mentor or former colleague. You want someone who understands your world and can ask the right questions, not simply take your assessment of what’s going on at face value. Everyone needs someone in their corner, without an agenda and only your interest at heart. It’s worth trying to find that person because isolation can skew your perspective and lead to poor decision-making.
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