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The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success Hardcover – April 20, 2006
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A practical roadmap. An easy-to-understand grid of what to pick up and what to let go of. Also a terrific reminder to executive management about the fundamental requirements of leadership and what it takes to demonstrate them every day. -- Arkansas Business & Economic Review, December 11, 2006
An easy and fascinating read, THE NEXT LEVEL is packed full of potentially career-saving advice. -- Business Book Review, July 2006
Be careful just how hard you work--burnout comes quick if you're not careful. -- Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2006
Eblin lays out a plan to boost your competence and confidence in your new role, including lots of the-people-above-you-will-want-you-to-know-this wisdom. -- Washington Business Journal, June 8, 2006
New executive must establish a presence with the new peer group to communicate knowledge of organizational perspective. -- Chicago Tribune, May 29, 2006
New executive must quickly develop an organizational perspective and establish a presence with his new peer group. -- Dallas Morning News, June 2, 2006
Provides the advice that no one ever thinks to give you. Good advice, from experienced executives, that's useable today. -- Soundview Executive Book Summaries, August 2006
Whether you are a new leader or a seasoned executive, this book is worth reading. -- Idaho Press-Tribune, June 11, 2006
Worth reading? Eblin says failed senior-level hire costs a company nearly $3 million in the long run. -- The Orange County Register, May 1, 2006
From the Publisher
After the thrill of promotion to an executive position comes the sobering reality of just how difficult it is to succeed at this level--and how hard it can be to find help. Some 40 percent of new executives don't last 18 months. A failed senior-level hire can cost a company up to $2.7 million. Why do so many employees with strong track records derail when promoted to the executive suite? In THE NEXT LEVEL, Scott Eblin draws on 20 years of experience as a leader and executive coach to identify why new executives fail and offers a practical program for achieving success.
Eblin sat down for one-on-one interviews with some thirty executives from many of America's leading organizations, including Avon, Capital One, Clear Channel, Northrop Grumman, and Sprint. In his book, he shares these insiders' personal stories, including how they stumbled--then succeeded--in their transition to the next level of leadership.
Rising executives must understand that the strengths and actions that drove their career progress at lower levels, such as technical prowess, will not necessarily sustain their success as executives. Eblin's bottom-line message to new leaders: What got you there won't keep you there. You must learn new beliefs and behaviors and, more importantly, let go of old ones--even though they've driven your success up until now.
Beyond Eblin's tactical advice, he provides a framework for transformational behavior and thinking--for creating executive presence, the confidence that is critical for success. THE NEXT LEVEL is essential for corporate leaders who have just been promoted to or are on track for the executive level, as well as any executive who needs a refresher.
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Top Customer Reviews
In his most recent book, Executive Warfare, David D'Alessandro (former chairman and CEO of John Hancock Financial Services) observes that "the single greatest reason why otherwise talented people get stuck in mid-career is because they believe that the same rules that applied for the first part of their careers still apply. They don't. You have to master a much subtler set of rules. You'll need to learn how to acquire the global perspective your peers lack, when and how to deliver bad news, when to take a shot at your rivals and when to be gracious, and, most important, how to handle the many new influences on your [career] trajectory...Intelligence, imagination, and cunning are all required here - but not underhandedness...I don't believe you need to be devious to succeed. In fact, I think being excessively political is a mistake." The same advice should also be considered by those who aspire to an executive position. For all executives, the rules of engagement change as they proceed into the "unchartered terrain" of the next career level.
The nine sets of key behaviors and beliefs that Eblin examines in his book serve as the framework of what amounts to both a self-assessment and a game plan for executing necessary initiatives. He devotes a separate chapter to each set, providing a checklist ("10 Tips") for consideration and execution at the end of each chapter. Of special interest to me is his discussion of "perspective transference" in Chapter 9, urging his reader to replace an "inside-out" view of her or his current duties and responsibilities with an "outside-in" view of her or his entire organization. "Like so much of the rest of the process of personal development it takes to become an effective executive leader, it can feel strange and uncomfortable to make this shift [as it will with most - if not all - of the others]. As you move from `me' to `us' to `them,' you will find that your comfort level rides as you see the results that come from broadening your field of vision." Many otherwise promising and capable workers suffer from a form of myopia as they impose self-limits on their career opportunities by thinking only in terms of their day-to-day responsibilities. The so-called "picture" is only as large as they can imagine. The idea of proceeding to the next level either never occurs to them or seems highly unlikely, if not impossible. Long ago, Henry Ford responded to such people by suggesting, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." Hence the importance of what Eblin calls an Executive Success Plan (ESP)
Presumably the estimate is true that 40% of executives fail within 18 months of their promotion to the next level. The reasons vary, of course, but one of the most common is a failure to leverage the capabilities that led to the promotion while adding other capabilities that include different mindsets as well as new skills (e.g. delegation of authority, performance evaluations). To paraphrase Goldsmith, "What got you here explains why you are here but you need new ways of thinking and acting for your career trajectory to proceed higher." This book will help, as will Goldsmith's and D'Alessandro's. I also highly recommend developing relationships with one or two senior-level executives (preferably not in the same organization) who can serve as a confidante and mentor. Perhaps members of the family, neighbors, other members of a professional association, etc. Hence the importance of formulating what Eblin calls an Executive Success Plan (See pages 195-199 and Appendix A) to maximize the value of obtaining feedback from various sources, including colleagues. Readers are also strongly encouraged to make effective use of the material in Appendix B ("Situation Solutions Guide") in which Eblin identifies some of the most common situations executives find themselves in and matches them with some of the solutions recommended in his book. Well-done!
This is a very good book that is well written and a joy to read. I like the way the author compares and contrasts what leadership should do and shouldn't do, as well as draw distinctions such as responsibility vs. accountability (a subtle delineation, but very important).
I recommend this book for anyone who has poured through dozens of leadership books and has lost faith that all new leadership books talk about the same thing - this one does not, and will give you new leadership tools for your arsenal. Also, for those just starting their careers, this is a must read.
The Next Level starts with a list of 4 reasons executives fail:
Poor Work Relationships and Interpersonal Skills
Failure to Clarify Direction or Performance Expectations
Failure to Adapt and Break Old Habits.
It attacks these problems with a table which lists things to do and things to drop to move to the next level. Each chapter then elaborates individually on each item on the chart with how to ideas.
One datapoint that I found interesting is high potential leaders "regularly seeks out knowledge and experience to perform at higher levels". This is something I have always practiced. I like to envision what it would be like to sell $X and have Y employees - what would I need to know, how would I need to act. Then I set about to learn and study. I think this has been how I was fortunate enough to scale from running a business from the trunk of my car up to $2 Billion in sales. I study.
I loved that the book even had a section on my favorite topic "what should I repeatedly do".
The book suggests using the GROW method to solve problems:
At the end of each chapter was a list of 10 tips. EG 10 tips for Picking Up Defining What to Do and Letting Go of Telling How to Do It.
There is a good appendix on creating your ESP - Executive Success Plan. And another one with a list of situations and where in the book to find details on the situation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Step Aside Super Woman
And hited the target - all my concerns, fears, lacks of knowledge/expertise - were presented in the book.Read more