As a leader, you’ve spent years — or decades — learning and honing the skills and characteristics that make your leadership effective. When circumstances change — as they very much have in the age of COVID — you may quite naturally reach for the very same set of skills you’ve used all along. This might not be the best approach.
As a former Fortune 15 executive, I know from experience that, as your career and its context evolves, you may need to unlearn many of the habits that have contributed to your success so far. This is especially true in today’s context, where so much is in flux.
Here are five ways to ways to unlearn the skills that made you successful in the past so you can experience continued career success in the future:
1. Aim for More Collaboration, Less Competition
The hierarchical structures of most organizations are wired for competition, and it’s natural to think of our peers as our competitors when climbing the corporate ladder. However, internal competition is not always profitable or beneficial. Those peers could one day become your manager or direct report. Competing could also erode your personal brand image and make it more difficult for peers and direct reports to fully engage with you, for fear that they may get caught in the crossfire.
Collaborate internally and win externally by delivering solutions for your customers, clients, and stakeholders. Collaboration sharpens your skills, creates a nonconfrontational environment in which people can learn from one another, builds alliances, and creates a better team dynamic for everyone.
2. Adapt to Your New Environment
I’ve worked at three Fortune 500 companies across different industries: Procter & Gamble, The Hershey Company, and Cardinal Health. Once, I transitioned from a company where working 50-60 hours per week was the norm. I wrongly assumed this was also the norm at my new company, and I. . .