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On the move! Career development from leader to manager

Symbolon one-on-one coaching to optimize your own driving style

The development of experts into managers is challenging, not only from the perspective of personnel development, but especially from the perspective of the next generation. This is because the success patterns of experts, executives and managers differ greatly.

Paula, for example, an absolute sales professional and young manager, took over responsibility for a regional sales location. She was given the new management responsibility after she had performed remarkably well as an expert for 3.5 years. She enjoyed the accompanying leadership training and was able to develop directly in doing her new role.

Metaphorically speaking, Paula was on the road in a sports car and achieved a lot. She got better and better at combining forces to increase speed and efficiency and get it on the road. After 4.5 years of leadership, Paula was groomed to take over as national sales division manager. In order to accompany this company-internal advancement, a Symbolon individual coaching process was set up over 6 months.

In the coaching, Paula's pattern of success, "I take care of the employees and promote them to the best of my ability." became immediately clear. This pattern had been very successful for the position of leader for years. In the new position of manager, however, "taking care" doesn't get her anywhere. As a manager, she is the rock, centered, clear, appreciative and demanding. Her inner pattern needs a transformation into "I control the overall process and keep the overview" in order to grow into the new position.

Metaphorically speaking, this is a change from a sports car to an off-road vehicle. In order to get up the mountain and reach the goals, Paula has to understand the conditions of the terrain, i.e. the market, even better. Wind, rain, snow, stand for the current and constantly changing influences that complicate or favor the ride. Depending on this, she has to react quickly and make new decisions. She also has to selectively sound out and take advantage of the ideal time. Because the more accurately Paula assesses the conditions, the better her decisions will be. This helps to identify risks and avoid idle time.

The necessary pattern change was difficult for Paula because it made her feel not social enough. Intellectually, she could understand that she would perform better for her company with this approach. However, emotionally it required an inner process of realization with the permission to herself to allow distance and to challenge the managers to take care of the employees accordingly and to support them in the best possible way.

Paula's example shows how important and relevant to success individual development is. Paula would never have reached this personal pattern, which has been holding back the development of her overall personality for decades, by merely learning management techniques. Paula still likes to take care of others, but in her job she thinks very carefully about when it makes sense to give special attention. With this new care, she has changed her pattern and is developing authentically in her management role. Overall, the insight process has strengthened her as a personality and she has gained more crisis-proofing and clarity for her decisions.

Paula's case shows that taking on new tasks and responsibilities is successful when the automatic patterns of thought and action are recognized and transformed. As soon as the blind spot is illuminated, expanded scope for action emerges and energy is released for new tasks.

In Symbolon Coaching, the self-image is contrasted with the external image. Our coaches are not nice, but always appreciative and development-oriented. This gives supportive tailwind, because the more important a person becomes in the company, the less honest feedback he/she gets within his/her organization.

Ultimately, the pattern of success in a sports car is completely different from that in an off-road vehicle. Career development requires the flexibility to change easily and playfully and to master both vehicles. In order to support new managers to get up the mountain, our Symbolon coaches accompany the inner growth process during the ascent. Symbolon Coaching offers driving training at its best and from 30 years of coaching experience we know that it takes little to optimize one's own driving style. The fun factor increases and the successes are immediately visible.

We wish you a good trip!

Christine Kranz, MCC and Dr. Friederike Redlbacher

Symbolon Coaching offers driving training at its best

Christine Kranz, MCC


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