I just finished reading Scott Eblin's The Next Level: What Insiders know About Executive Success and it's a keeper I'll be referring back to.
In addition to strategies on what executives need to pick-up and let go to be successful at this higher level, Scott also touches on the different mindset necessary.
Although the new executive needed to be a results-oriented over-achiever to get to this level, this mindset will no longer work.
The executive, unlike the senior leader, needs to be focused on the organization's success and on furthering all their agendas, sometimes at his personal agenda's expense. The executive also has to be aware that his actions and words are always being carefully monitored and will be taken much more seriously than he had intended, both for the good and bad. Scott shares an anecdote where a new executive teased a previous peer only to have him ask if he's in trouble.
Scott's point is that when you get to the executive level, you need to spend more time looking out, collaborating, directing, inspiring, and working towards the greater good with your executive peers rather than focusing on your own good. And you need to be aware you are your company's ambassador and that you are now perceived differently by all.
I love that Scott also emphasizes the value of having an executive take the time to connect with staff at all levels, ask for feedback, and be approachable. This takes effort since people tend to be suspicious and wary of anyone at the executive level.
If you're contemplating whether an executive role is something you should aspire to or not, read this book. I think anyone taking on an executive role for the first time should read this book or one like it so that they know what will be expected of them. Yes, promotions and raises are nice, but being an executive is not for everyone.
Have you had the opportunity to watch a newly-made executive transition? What made the transition a success or failure?