‘I’m stuck at senior mid-level. How can I get leadership role?’
Question: I have been with a multinational company for over a decade. I joined this company in a technical role and excelled in client-facing assignments. The management appreciated my technical contributions and leadership qualities. As part of gradual career progression, I wanted to get into a leadership role. Since the client was winding down its business with my company, the management advised me to look for another customer whom I can serve in the leadership capacity. I was soon picked up by another client since I had top ratings and reviews. I told my new manager that I wanted to work in a leadership role. The manager gave a few verbal assurances and promised a promotion. But I was actually put in a silo technical role. I have brought this to the notice of the top management. Every word of appreciation appears just hollow. I see myself as “a performer once, a piece of furniture now”. What should I do?
Ethe motion organisations can false sense of up the hierarchy. In cases, however, the bare
change — only the designations do — especially early stages.
This up the leadership
can through both in or functional ing that they because they ship But these for work done in technical/functional domain — or for time completed early stages of career.
It is uncommon for individuals to experience ceiling beyond ( senior level
Those who technical exindividual contributors, lacking in the to lead teams, will witness their careers ta
off levels or see themselves handling only senior domain expert beyond levels.
From story, it is there has been some lip service let believe that to be in leadership But the organisation technical expertise leadership the client. where
transition leadership in organi
Most of us see that career In fact, based (time-based)
technical technical the feel
have been contribution can
— in I want you to consider two things: Besides for leadership
what have done to demonstrate for such
Leading teams demonstration of high emotional intelligence to
stakeholder expecconflicts, to contribute to the ortations, inspire
Have with filled to work on? their expectations of which they using execution is the client feedback on
Feedback is often sought (for fear of knowing what want to confront), time by seniors. It’s face-saving syndrome in collective society where they have
than be direct tell they don’t consider fit for leadership This expedient behaviour by bosses we commonly find, because of which have become such it’s sustainable of over time.
Now, have the choice to sulk, be upset decide to see furniture, or do something to fix this. Only can.
Here are the options:
dialogue with key stakeholders with some clients, don’t blame, seek honest feedback. Reflect on feedback that is shared with
work on deficiencies.
Improve executive communication skills (both written
had open conversation stakeholders on unfulsought feedback they in
because of still continue in technical/ challenge. Besides,
can lead to loss
enhance interpersonal tionships with the
Consider the services of coach to help If the organisation seek its help to seasoned leadership coach
out of technical/funcfixedness to develop larger business/strategic
some inspiring TED Talks to widen
And finally, success career is — do outsource this to employer or others, even coach. Jobs easy, but careers built through combining competence/ economic
Use this situation to find
Do submit the strings of leadership to someone else. The bridge between success is filled with hard work hon
Sujaya Banerjee is CEO, Capstone People Consulting. She has 29 years of experience in leading people in organisations like British Gas, Essar Group, Godrej and Lowe Lintas & Partners Talk to us
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