Organisations tend to be shaped like a pyramid, with a CEO [ or chairperson ] at the top, middle management in the middle & junior staff at the bottom. When you are at the bottom of the pyramid as junior staff, the game is simple : essentially you have to prove that you know your stuff & can get your job done. If you win at this level, then you start progressing up the levels of the pyramid. It is when you reach middle management that the game begins to shift; it becomes less about proving your worth [ you have already done that ], the focus is now on proving that you can have the other people in your team win as well. Very often, the most difficult element of this transition point is for a new manager to “let go” of their old duties, which they were very good at, and begin delegating & developing others. If you win at this level, then the next level is about being able to forge powerful relationships with people outside your team – your peers & stakeholders [ inside and outside the company ] & produce excellent results with and through them.
The apex of the game is most obviously at the top of the pyramid. A CEO is not assessed on their ability to produce their own results. However good the CEO is at their own functional job, there is only one of them & they have hundreds sometimes thousands, of people who report directly or indirectly to them. Similarly they have a myriad of relationship networks with which they need to work effectively. To be a great CEO, you need to be great at having people win, producing results with and through others, as well as forging powerful peer-peer relationships.
The game moves substantially between junior, middle level & CEO level. This sounds obvious, yet so many people whom we work with totally miss the shift when it comes to their own career. Take a moment to consider your own career & think about whether it has plateaued anywhere or whether you are experiencing frustration in any area. If that is the case, perhaps you are using the strategy that was effective at previous level, but is now holding you back at your current level.
It is not only the corporate game that moves. The game of life also moves & once again main people fail to see it because it is always easier to see something in theory than when you are thick of it. The game of life as youngster is very different from that of a teenager, which is also very different from that of a single adult. The games moves again if you get married, if you have children, if children leave home, if you retire etc.
Frequently, we find that people love one particular level in the game & try to cling on it for as long as possible. This generally results in the increasing desperation, frustration & resentment. An example here is a 40 year old who constantly harks on about their student days & attempts to party as long, hard & often as they used to in order to prove that they still “got it”.
The game of life moves in a similar way of to the game of business : as you progress, having other people win becomes more and more important. In business life, once you have proven your ability, the game moves towards having your direct reports win, and it just gets bigger from there. Similarly the game of life quickly moves from focusing on yourself to focusing on your partner, your children, your parents, your grandchildren. Both the game of business and game of life ultimately move towards becoming game of leadership & enrollment, having other people grow, develop and win.
If you can successfully navigate these moving games and focus on having other people win, then they are far more likely to choose to follow you. Consider for a moment if your life has plateaued anywhere, and if it has, then why ? What level are you at , and based on your results, is your strategy still effective ?
Do let me know your views as well 🙂 Like always, thank you for sparing little time and reading my blog.