Designing a Leadership Career Success Strategy

On January 18, 2012, in Blog, Leadership Career Success, by Christine Glasco

I write a lot of articles on the topics of effective leadership strategies and out-of-the-box career management and career transformation methods.  I have written about the ‘how tos’ and the ‘whys’ but I have not addressed the ‘what”.

So let’s go back to the beginning.

What is strategy?

In his book, Crafting Strategy, Dr. Bob Frost notes most strategy theorists agree that “strategy differs from long-range planning…”

He further notes that strategy is based on five elements: setting direction; long-term success; competition; distinctive capabilities and sustainable advantage.  Contemplating these elements allow the right questions to be asked in order to design a great business strategy.

These elements also provide an excellent model for designing a leadership career success strategy.

Why Do You Need a Leadership Career Success Strategy?

When I started in my first professional role, I was entering grad school at the University of Michigan (U of M).  I stood in line at the U of M Employment Office perusing job openings.  A Recruiter (yes, a real person) asked if she could help me.  She invited me to her office and asked about my interests, my undergraduate major, my career goals, etc. Based on that conversation, she scheduled an interview for me with the head of Leadership Development at the university.  The rest, as the saying goes, is history!

Since my ‘fairy tale’ of career success would not happen in quite this way today, let’s look at Frost’s approach to business strategy and identify how it relates to designing a leadership career success strategy.

Setting Career Direction

Early in your career, mid-career or late career – you can set your direction – or others will set it for you.  I found my best career destiny as a result of someone observing talents and competencies in me that I did not know existed.  A discerning Recruiter determined the direction of my career back then — and it worked!

I wish there was an omniscient person who could lead everyone to their best career choices – but that is not reality.  Each leader must identify the best career success moves that optimize capability, skill and an X- Competency, a unique talent that may be unknown to the leader.

In order to design a leadership career success strategy, the first step is to ask the right questions:

Long-term Success

  • What types of moves do I need to make (broadening assignments, lateral moves, additional education, etc.) to be successful?
  • What is the best environment for me to leverage my talents?
  • What is the economic outlook for my specific career interest?

Competition Analysis

  • Who is doing what I want to do?  How did they achieve success? What is their brand signature?  How am I similar and at the same time – different?
  • What’s my current leadership career brand?  What platform do I need to build to further showcase my brand?  What’s my brand signature?

Distinctive Capabilities

  • What are my talents, competencies and skills?
  • What is my X-Competency?

Sustainable Advantages

  • What do I need to do in order to re-invent my leadership career every five years?

In order to design a leadership career success strategy, you need to borrow the elements of a good business strategy plan and ask the right questions.

A question for you to consider:

  • What do you need to do now in order to design a leadership career success strategy?

© All rights reserved.

Christine M. Glasco consults to company executives, business owners and non-profit leaders on career management/career transformation and strategic leadership development solutions.  To request a complimentary copy of Five Tips to Transform Your Executive Career  and to receive Is Your Career on Track? Assessment and e-Workbook  go to:   Email:

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One Response to Designing a Leadership Career Success Strategy

  1. […] type of go-forward leadership career success model most appeals to […]

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