Hello there and welcome to this week's episode!
I'm excited for this one. This is a fun one and it's for anyone who's dreaming of rising into a more senior leadership role and wants to get there with grace, ease and confidence.
Because we are going to solve five common mistakes that I see (and that I've done myself!) when trying to advance to a director-level role. And you don't even need to try to fix all of them. Just pick one and start implementing the solution that I share with you. That's all you need to do.
PS get the bonus video about "The Masks We Wear" to get my tip on managing all the masks we wear as we work on rising to executive level.
Liz: So when you focus on your problems or your team's problems, you're looking inwards, you are, that is your responsibility. So I'm talking to those of you who have a good handle, like you're leading a team and you know, you're not necessarily brand new to it, you don't having a lot of major problems, but you are still focused on your team's problems. What I want you to do. I want you to start looking what I, what I call it as looking up and out. But looking up, looking at your boss's problems and looking out, looking sideways, looking at problems that are cross-organizational, that are horizontal.
And when you can start solving those problems that stands out. It stands out that shows that you're netting ready for the next level. That shows that you're seeing things from a leadership perspective.
Well, Hey there, I'm Liz St. Jean, and this is the unruly leadership podcast where I help subject matter experts. Like you design a career on your terms. It's where strategy meets intuition to help you break the rules, ignore the rules and make your own damn rules. So let's break free from perfectionism, imposter thoughts, and that inner rule.
Keep that's keeping you in your career comfort zone. it's time to become unapologetically you and step into the life you were meant to live. We're going to talk presence, productivity career, and having it all. Or as my four year old would say, we're going to take over the world. So let's get to it.
Well, hello there. And welcome to this week's episode. I'm excited for this one. This is kind of a fun one. We are going to solve some common mistakes that I see and that I've done myself. I'm I'm right there with you. We're going to be talking about five common mistakes that I see and have seen over my years of coaching folks.
When people are looking to advance to a director role. So this episode is for anyone who's dreaming of rising and you might be you like you might literally be working on that director level promotion right now. Or it may be something you're dreaming about. Um, so something we've been talking about in them, in my mastermind community and with the powerful presence society that just finished up.
Is this concept of director by December. So, if you're listening to this right now at time of the airing, it is July. So that's a nice little, a good, solid, a bit of time to work on getting to a director level role. Maybe you're listening to this a bit later and it's a bit closer. And so maybe that's a little bit exciting or a little bit scary to think about becoming a director by December.
But just remember. Director by December. It doesn't necessarily have to be this year. If that sounds if that's too scary, if that's too close to say director by December this year, that's okay. Maybe it's director by December last year. So anyhow, all of that to say this episode is for you. I want to share these common mistakes that I see and give you some solutions. So my direction to you for this episode, there's two things. One is that.
I'm giving you five common mistakes. I don't want you to get hung up on trying to fix all of them or trying to think that, you know, you are doing all of these. Just pick one. Just pick one that I share and start implementing the solution that I share with you. That's all you need to do. Then the second thing is that.
I actually recorded a bonus tip. So a sixth bonus tip around this topic or a similar topic, and I'm sending it out to my email list. So if you are already on my email list, if you get my weekly emails, you are good. You're golden. You're going to get this. Um, you probably have actually already seen the video by the time you're listening to this episode.
Now for those of you who have not yet, you're not on my email list and you want that bonus episode. Or their bonus video. You do want it. It's uh, it's, it's good. We're going to be talking about the masks that we wear and I'm giving you some bonus tips and talking about. The challenge of, of having a mask on. So to get that, make sure to head over to my website and, um, you'll see the link down below in the show notes, click the link there to get to the page where you can get that bonus tip video. And you'll.
You can jump on my email list. So you'll get all of the extra goodies that I send out to my email list. You would definitely want to be in both places here on the podcast. And on my email list. Okay. So with that, let's jump right into these five common mistakes that I see. And like I said, that I've experienced myself. So let's do number one. Number one is definitely something that I am guilty of. I have been very guilty of this over the years, and that is that when someone's looking to advance to a director level role, they sometimes end up going and getting more education. More education. That piece of paper, this. This is my story. This is my experience. Getting that piece of paper that proves to the world that I'm ready for that next level. Now I, this is not to say that I'm against education. I love learning.
I love it. I always I've loved it. My mom always tells me this story and it's so fun. It's such a fun story about how, you know, when it was time to go back to school, like I was the first one who wanted to go school, supply shopping. I wanted to line up, like I would have started a week earlier. I probably would have started a month earlier.
If I could have a free, for being honest, I just, I love learning. So this is And this, for those of you listening, who are lifelong learners, and you also love learning, you might fall into this trap. Right because you love learning. It starts getting almost like it's getting overlaid with this idea of it's going to help you advance.
Because here's the thing most of the time. Most people listening to this most situations. You don't need more education. Hey, you don't need more education to advance. Again, most of the time for most people in most situations. Now there may be outliers. And if that's you remember what I said earlier, you're just going to pick one of these. So if this one doesn't resonate, just wait till the next one. There'll be one of the other ones that'll resonate.
But most of the time, We don't need it because most of the time advancement, especially to direct director level and especially beyond director level. They're not looking for your credentials like that. That is not important. When, when, um, when going through the promotional process, regardless of what the promotional process is, they're not really looking for a piece of paper. So getting more education and advancing your learning is absolutely beneficial for yourself.
It's beneficial. If you love learning for that, like the pleasure of learning is beneficial and it can help you get more, um,
You don't necessarily build a skills, but you get exposure to certain skills and exposure to new ways of thinking, and that can help you. But it's not a requirement for advancing again, in most situations. Now, for those of you who are raising your hand and saying, well, I have to have an MBA, et cetera, et cetera. Okay.
Maybe there are some cases where you absolutely do need to have that piece of paper. But most of the time, It's more of a, kind of a thought error and it, and it usually comes out of a place of our brains are kind of, um, It's called the amygdala hijack. Our brain gets kind of scared by the idea of putting ourselves out there as ourselves.
And the brain had a behind the scenes comes up with this, like, oh, I'll go get a piece of paper and that'll prove that I'm ready. And then they'll have to promote me do that level. Like that's kind of what's happening behind the scenes in our brains for a lot of people. So if that's the mistake, then what the solution is and that the solution in this one,
Is more a mindset necessarily then the more tactical or tangible actions. But the solution is. If, if you are going for another degree or even just investing more money and getting professional designation in something. I really want you to be very clear for yourself. Write. Like literally write it down. And if you want send it to me in an email and let me know. Cause you can like bounce it with me as your, like your safe sounding board to make sure it makes sense, right. That.
That it's, um, they, that this thought error is not taking over. But get really clear. About how this education is going to help you advance. Okay. What specifically does that piece of paper do that you couldn't do in some other way? That's more efficient. Okay, because that's the issue. Usually getting an education again. It's wonderful. And we love to learn.
It's usually a diversion and that's going to take you away from the more direct path to that advancement to that promotion. Okay. So mistake, number one, you're getting more education. And then, and especially if the education is in your area of expertise, as opposed to looking at more leadership. Competencies and skills.
That's your mistake. The solution is get really clear, make sure you're really clear and you know exactly how that's going to help you advance. Be honest with yourself. And really question and like ask yourself and be clear and honest about whether there is a more efficient way to do it. And whether you actually need that piece of paper.
And like I said, like, I've done, I've been here there many, many times. I know that feeling of that desire to get that other piece of paper. Okay. So number two, the second common mistake that we see is keeping our goals to ourselves. So you might be guilty of this. If it feels very uncomfortable to tell someone you're going for a promotion.
And I see this all the time. So if you have ever gone for a promotion or you even thought about it, And you haven't told a single soul about it, other than maybe you're a best friend, or if you're working with a coach, you probably killed your coach. Maybe your spouse knows, or a partner or someone else that's close to you. Maybe they know sometimes, maybe not even then.
But no one at work knows your boss. Doesn't know you're going for promotion. Your teammates don't know. Uh, your, your network. No one knows. And the idea of telling that, telling them is like, Anxiety producing. Like you feel a tightness even, maybe even as you're listening to this, you feel a tightness around the idea of telling someone.
Usually that comes from this place of, um, essentially a fear of, of failure, but a kind of a special version of it. It's like the fear that other people are going to watch us fall flat on our faces. And what I really want you to know is this is so much more common than we think I have had. I can't even count the number of conversations I've had with people who are.
Um, Impressive professional put together Polish. Like they're amazing humans. They're wonderful. They're lovely. They're they're everything that you would want a leader to be. And then it's kind of like, they confide in me. It's a little bit like a confessional in some ways they confide in me, they're going for promotion, but they don't want anyone else to know. Like they don't even want, they don't even necessarily want someone else.
Um, two. To practice their interview questions. Even if the other person is also going for a promotion, they just, because they just don't want people to know, like it's just unbearable the idea of someone else, knowing that they're going for something, if it doesn't work. Okay. So, no, I want you to know that you are.
You're so not alone. It's a really, actually it's a really natural, um, uh, defensive mechanism in our brains because our brains are afraid or fear failure. Majority of human brains, fear of failure. So that's your brain's way of keeping you safe. They don't want their, your brain doesn't want you to feel.
Uh, uncomfortable or sad or embarrassed. So does basically. Pulling it is pulling the rains on you telling anyone. Hey. So the solution for this one, this is a tough one. Okay. If this is the mistake that you're finding yourself or the pitfall you're falling into, this will be a tough one. Is that I do want you to tell someone, even just one person.
I'll even take one person. I would love for you to tell more than one person. But I want you to tell someone about your goals. Okay. And if you're, if you're not even sure how to start or what that looks like or how to walk through it, or you just want to even like a worksheet to walk to help you walk through this. I have got you. I've got one for you. So I want you to head over to the mint ambition.com/blueprint.
That's the mint ambition.com/blueprint. And you'll be able to download my career breakthrough blueprint, which has a number of spots that help you walk through this very thing and some suggestions. And. Um, just some ways of making sure you're staying accountable and talking to people about your goals. Okay.
This doesn't mean that you have to be out there, you know, trumpeting what you want to do and, um, you know, putting yourself out there and that way. I still want you to be true to yourself. But I do want you to start telling people, I want you to start talking about it. Okay. And for those of you who this is really anxiety producing and just like you could almost feel your body start to like,
Kind of curl inwards. How about you? Tell me. Okay to send me an email. If you're on my email is just hit reply to any of the emails I send. Look me up on LinkedIn or Instagram and DM me and just tell me if no one else. And that's just a practice and. I'm your cheerleader. I'm here with you. I am your cheerleader and I will absolutely encourage you.
And we'll have a fun little conversation as well to boot. Okay. But at least tell one person.
Okay. A common mistake. Number three, common mistake. Number three. I see. And this is, especially for those of you who want to advance your director and you're not quite applying yet. You're kind of in an in-between place. You, you probably have a team, whether you're cross functional manager, your team lead, or a middle manager, you have some kind of team. And you're now thinking about, okay, I'd like to advance.
You're not quite applying, but so you're in that middle area in middle phase, I guess. The problem. I see here a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot. And this is why there's a whole module on this and in powerful presence society. Is the mistake is you end up focusing on your problems and your team's problems.
You're focused on your responsibilities. Hey. I noticed some of you are scratching your heads, like, well, what do you mean? Isn't that not what I'm supposed to do? Like, that's my responsibility. Like. I'm doing my job, right. You're kind of. I get on the sea right now, looking at your phone, or you're looking at the computer and be like, well, what, I don't understand this.
So what I teach in my, in my webinar workshop and what I teach in PPS in powerful presence society is that to advance, to be seen as a leader and to do it really authentically and not in kind of a surface level way. What you want to do is you want to focus on solving. Next level problems. Okay. That's.
So solving next a little problems is the solution to this mistake. So when you focus on your problems or your team's problems, you're looking inwards, you are, that is your responsibility. So I'm talking to those of you who have a good handle, like you're leading a team and you know, you're not necessarily brand new to it, you don't having a lot of major problems, but you are still focused on your team's problems. What I want you to do. I want you to start looking what I, what I call it as looking up and out. But looking up, looking at your boss's problems and looking out, looking sideways, looking at problems that are cross-organizational, that are horizontal.
And when you can start solving those problems that stands out. But even identifying solutions to those problems, even if you can't solve them, like you can implement them identifying solutions to those problems. It stands out that shows that you're netting ready for the next level. That shows that you're seeing things from a leadership perspective.
Okay. So again, those of you who are managing teams, you've been managing it for a while. You're doing well. And you're looking to advance. I want you to start thinking about next level problems. And if you want some more training on this, you want, I've got a couple of extra little side trainings that I can send you, but you'll have to email me. So go dig up. Um, if you're on my email list, dig up an email that I've sent to you hit reply and literally any of them, it doesn't matter. And just say that you heard me talking on the podcast about next level problems and you want the bonus training and I'll send it to you that way.
And if you're not on my email list, You can again, look me up. Uh, Instagram, LinkedIn, wherever, or go sign up for my email list on my website.
Hey, that was mistake. Number three. Mistake number four is I see this happening a lot is people are networking. Or they're not networking. But they're focusing on networking, being the verbs. So networking.
Instead of building a network. Okay. There's a subtle difference there, but really important distinction. And networking the verb of going out and networking. Um, Often, it doesn't feel very comfortable. We often, it that's the thing that we always say it feels icky. It feels uncomfortable. And then, especially for anyone who identifies as introverted or neurodivergent.
It just, there's a whole other layer of D of challenge around that. I want you to, to flip your thinking. So here's the solution. I want you to flip your thinking to see it as building a network. And here's the most important piece on this. So pay attention if you're distracted or have you gone away doing something else? Come back to me right now.
Because building a network is not like a hub and spoke. Right. And if you imagine like a hub-and-spoke wheel, right, like you're at the center and you've got all these spokes going out to different people. Uh, technically network theory, technically that's a certain type of network. I don't want you to build that kind of network.
I want you to build a network between different people. So how I teach it. And when I think of any conceptualize, it is that I want you to create a constellation. Isn't that such a fun idea. Right. Whether it's in your organization or in your industry, I want you to create a constellation shining stars, which means that you are connected to them. That is part of it.
And they're connected to one another. Okay. I really, really, really want you to do this. It's just such a beautiful. Uh, visual for me. I hope you have that same visual of a constellation of shining star has people who have, um, similar goals, similar values, right? We do want to have networks of people who have similar goals. Of making a difference, making impact, having purpose. I know if you're listening to my podcasts and especially if you've gotten this far in, on this episode, you, you have purpose. You want to, you, you want to make impact. I know that about you.
And I want you to find people that are like-minded in that way. That share values of inclusivity and income of, um, Reaching out of creating spaces that are built of that are belonging spaces. I'm not sure if that's the right terminology, but you know what I mean? You get me, I think. So I want you to create that constellation.
So really do that. And, um, and what we'll do is going to shift your mindset away from the more transactional networking. I guess it's very transactional. Right? I meet someone so they can help me. Maybe I help them. So they help me later. That's it's called transactional relationship is what it's called.
And we want to move towards that constellation. We want to move towards a place of building relationships and, and creating something bigger than ourselves. Okay. So I want you to, I really, really want you to do that. Hey. Okay, then one last mistake that I see one last common mistake that I see for people wanting to advance to director level role is that. We ended up getting into this. Either or thinking mode and this is really common. Like this is actually, um, a very common cognitive error. Oh my goodness. We'll see if I leave this, I probably will leave this in the podcast. You realize just how real it is. The power has been out. So here's a little side note, power has been out today, just went out and just came back on and the printer just restarted. So if we hear beeps and things all around me, just try to ignore that.
We'll keep going. We're going to keep going. Okay. So either or thinking it's a cognitive bias, so you can go look it up . And it's very, very natural. You'll either I can do it this way or I can do it that way. And you're cause our brains want that certainty. Like it just are.
Our brains. It's, it's easier for a brain to see things as certain, either this or that. Okay. So your brain just wants to do it. And you know, we cater to that part of our brain all the time. We all do it a hundred percent. We all do it. And how I see it happen is that people are, it's kind of like I'm either going to get, go to become a director in my company.
Or I'm going to go externally. And there's a lot more wrapped up in that as well. And especially if you're thinking of even changing industries or professions, that's a whole other either or piece. But it's because it feels very uncomfortable that the idea of doing. Of doing both? No, it's like, I'm going for a position in my company. And once I know for sure that won't work out, then I will start looking for a promotion outside of my company.
Okay. So if you are, if you, if you're realizing that you're doing this, and this is the pitfall that you're falling into, again, it's a mindset shift and I want you to Hertz. Start shifting over to it. Uh, yes. And thinking, okay. Yes, I can go for a promotion at my company and I can look for one externally. Okay.
And what you'll notice is. There is you're going to have, you're going to go through like a decision. It's almost like a decision. To have that kind of thinking a decision of okay. I'm going to look for something internally, and then we all look for something externally. Once you've made that decision and you start.
Taking action. You start implementing along both paths at the same time. Is going to be easier. Okay. So if you're finding yourself resistant, if you're avoiding your procrastinating and our PR, seriously, our brains are so sneaky, your brain's going to be sneaky, sneaky, sneaky, sneaky brain is going to come up with all kinds of other reasons to not do it. And it won't even necessarily be reasons related to this and be like, oh, okay.
No, I don't have time tonight because I need to do this other thing. And most of the time that other thing involves us scrolling through Facebook or other social media. And it's totally natural. A hundred percent I've been there. We have, we've all been there. So I want you to notice, I want you to catch that. I want you to, to realize like, oh, okay. My brain does not want me to try to do both. My brain is avoiding it.
Um, And I just, I really want you to work on that and. Sometimes for these sorts of mindset shifts, the. Uh, the visual that comes up to mind is like a speed bump. So if you imagine. You're dry. You've got your car and it's like going over a sleepy bump in a really slow zone. And especially if you had to stop for something you're going, and if you come up to the speed bump, if you're not going fast enough, your car just kind of like those back you.
You know, like that you kind of have to get over that speed bump. And once you're over the speed bump and you're good to go, it's like that with some of these mindset pieces. So if, if this is your pitfall, the either or thinking, you know, either I'm going to get a promotion at my company, Or I'll do an externally, which it kind of translates roughly more into like, okay, I'm going for, I'm going for in my company. And if they, if they don't value me, if they don't value me enough and I'm not going to get it.
Then I will go externally. Okay. That's a speed bump. You need to get over. You need to get yourself over that speed bump to, to the place where you're feeling. You're feeling good about saying, okay, I'm going, I'm going for a director level role in my company. And I'm looking for one elsewhere. I'm doing both. I coming at it from, if you hear my voice, they're a little bit of neutral and a place. Um, so you're not doing it from an angry place or a frustrated place.
You're just doing it from a, both. Uh, both end or a yes. End place. And you kind of get both going at the same time. And for these sorts of things, I, for especially going from either or. Or like first, this, then that thinking. I the other, um, metaphor I want to use, I want to share is for anyone who's cooked a.
Uh, past a dinner with spaghetti sauce. Okay. I mean a lot of us have and. The idea of like first I'm going to try to get something in my company, and then I'm going to look externally. It is a little bit like if you're cooking the pasta and you're cooking the spaghetti sauce, and you're saying to yourself, well, first I'm going to do the spaghetti sauce and then I'm going to cook the pasta, just like that.
And that makes sense in a way, right? Because usually you're kind of, you're, you're, you're cooking you're especially if you're doing it with me, you've got to cook the bread, the meat, and you're adding things in your saute and this and that. You don't, you actually don't make the past until later on.
Right. Except maybe you're all of you are there already now, except that you need to boil the water. Right. So if you focus on making the pastor or the pasta sauce, if you focus on just Browning, the meat and chopping up the vegetables and that this and that, and you haven't started the water boiling.
Well, by the time you want to make the past, uh, the water is not boiled. So now you've got to wait for the water to boil. So I want you to think of it like that. You can do both at the same time, even F. Even if you're going to hold off on the external decision until later on, right. You're not going to put the past into later on, but I do want you to have that pot of boiling water going.
So that once you decide that you're saying, okay, you know what. This is, it's not working out in this, in the company. I've been working, working towards it and that's not happening. I'm now I'm ready to start. To start taking more action, more, especially a very serious action looking out elsewhere.
But that's not where you are. That's not when you start. So I want you to start now you start with those connections. Right? Think about what I was saying with the last solution slash mistake about building a constellation. I want you to start with that. Now start building things up. Start taking action.
So that when you're ready. To look at, to really sort of, um, getting that external position. You're ready to go. And honestly, Starting to apply to external positions. This is not a bad idea at all for, for a couple of reasons. One being like you never know what can happen. Like the most amazing opportunity might land in your lap by, by applying and putting yourself out there.
But also number two, it's going to give you practice and if you're still committed to your own company, but you're also like you're going to start that water boiling now, but you're, you are committed to your company. Well, you're kind of like doing practice interviews externally. You're, it's kind of a bit of it's a little sneaky.
I mean, you don't want to take advantage of it. Like don't, don't. Um, Pursue opportunities that you, that you know, for sure you don't want, I wouldn't say that. Just, just to get an interview. But you're going to get some really amazing, valuable experience by doing these external interviews. Which will probably benefit you for that.
Um, internal promotional experience and promotional process. So, so I want you to start that pot of boiling water externally. Now. Even if even as you're going for a promotion within your own company, Okay. So there we have it. We've got the five common mistakes. I'll do a real quick synopsis summary of them. So number one, the mistake is getting more education when you might not necessarily need it. The solution is getting really clear about how it will help you advance and really honest with yourself.
If there isn't an actual, faster way to advance that doesn't involve going off, going and getting into. Um, A piece of paper or getting an education. Okay. Number two common mistake is keeping your goals to yourself. Not telling anyone he says loosened to that is I, I want you to tell someone I know, I know, even if it's just me, even if you just send me an email.
You could tell at least one person. Okay. Number three you're focused on your problems or your team's problems, your responsibilities. And solution to that is I want you to be solving next level problems. Next level problems. Hey, fourth, common mistake I see is people are networking or, or not. Instead of building a network.
I want you to create that constellation. That's the solution. There is create a constellation. Hey, and then number five, common mistake I see for advancing to a director role is getting into either slash or thinking either or thinking instead of having yes. And, or. Um, At the same time thinking. So that's the one where I want you to start that pot of boiling water early. I want you to start looking.
Both externally and internally at the same time in order to advance. So there you have it. Five common mistakes when advancing to a director role. And again, there is a bonus video I have, I would love to send it to you if you're not already on my email list, head on over to the website. Um, check out the links in the show notes below and get on my web.
Um, on my email list. Once you're on the email list, send me an email and say that you want that extra bonus tip video, and I'll send it on over to you. Okay. So with that, have yourself a wonderful day and wonderful rest of the week. And I will see you back here next week. Buh-bye.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If this podcast helped you or inspired you in any way, I would love for you to leave me a review over on apple podcasts, it takes 20 seconds, if that, and it's, it's honestly the easiest way for you to thank me for this episode. Every time I see a review, it brings me so much joy and it just lights me up.
So if you could do that for me, I would be ever so grateful. Now, the other thing you can do is you can take a screenshot of this episode or even a screenshot of your review and send it to a friend or share it in a Facebook group or even post on your LinkedIn newsfeed to let other people know about this podcast and this episode.
Thanks again. And now get out there and start breaking some rules.
Get the bonus video on the masks we wear
I recorded a special bonus tip, talking about the masks we wear. Sign up below to get instant access.