Get in to big picture thinking to get ahead in your career. Business, finance and strategic acumen are crucial to help you move into senior roles.
If you’ve ever tried to free-style baking a cake, you’ll realise that recipes are there for good reason. The ingredients, quantities and techniques involved are all crucial for a successful and delicious outcome.
There are many recipes to follow to achieve career success, but if senior or executive management level is what you aspire to, there’s one ingredient you simply can’t afford to leave out.
Many of the women I coach tell me that they feel their skills are particularly lacking in one area: business strategy. They don’t feel qualified to sit at the top table because they don’t know how to talk “real business”.
Context is key
As well as the big-picture strategy of the business, it’s essential you learn the numbers – if you are to manage a team and a budget, you must be confident with your financial skills. But, importantly, you should also be able to put your own and your team’s numbers into the context of the overall sales and/or growth strategy of the business as whole.
In her 2013 TED Talk, The Career Advice Your probably Didn’t Get, Susan Colantuono states that she believes that business, strategic and financial acumen is the missing link in getting more women into senior corporate positions. From her studies, it’s clear women aren’t aware of just how crucial these skills are for advancement and in fact that many senior male executives (responsible for promotion) believe “it’s a given” that anyone progressing should have these skills.
The business end of your career is calling. Make a commitment to set aside notions of what you can and can’t do – scope out what’s missing in your own recipe for career success and work out how to fill the gaps.
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