Welcome to another Ask Katrina. The question today is:
“Katrina, I hear you talking about the shift that executives must make, a shift from focusing on problems to focusing on opportunities. Why is that shift a must when it comes to executive success?”
Ultimately, what we must seek to understand is why we think that problems are where our focus needs to be in the first place.
Why is that our natural inclination?
The answer is simply because that’s what we have always focused on in our careers until this point.
It takes women on average 10 years to reach an executive seat.
Through that promotion pathway, we have been taught to focus on problems, because as a director or a manager, your job is to put out fires.
Your job is to ensure that the business is still moving forward effectively.
If there’s anything in the way, it’s your job to clear it out.
Because you’re on the production side, you’re on the execution side, you’re on the action-taking side, this is the side that ultimately generates the results that the company needs to then be able to deliver to the customer. This side is the side where problems must be solved to ensure delivery.
You’ve been trained, from the time that you started your career, to look for problems. Your job has been to solve them, clear the path, and move the business forward.
However, when you step into the executive seat, you’re not the problem solver anymore because you are no longer an executor.
Your role changes, so your focus must change.
The Executive Mental Shift
Your role now is to be very strategic. Your role is to not look for problems in order to fix them, your role is to look for opportunities and ways in which you can help the organization and business grow, scale, expand, change with the times, and stay at the top of the leaderboard.
You want your organization to be the industry leader, right?
Your role as an executive is to ask the key questions to get the organization there and keep it there. Questions like, “How is the economy changing? How do we fit into that? What’s happening in this other industry? Can we tap into that in a way that will help us succeed? What is happening globally that we need to be aware of how can we play in that space?”
That’s what you’re doing when you shift your focus from problems to opportunities.
You’re asking the questions and looking for opportunities and ways that the business can grow, navigate, change, scale, and be bigger and better.
Just like people, a company that doesn’t change with the times it’s going to be gone.
So the company you work for must stay relevant.
Therefore, part of creating your executive brand is flipping the concept of focusing on problems to focusing on opportunities. This helps your company stay relevant as a brand and also ensures your executive brand is relevant to the organization.
Remember, problems are for doers.
Focusing on opportunities and determining how to grow and change to keep your company relevant is what executives do.
Solving problems isn’t going to help you exec correctly or generate executive success.
Ready to move from a focus on problem-solving to a focus on opportunity creation?
Schedule a call with the team and let us support you on your executive journey, helping you create consistent executive-level results in 60 days.