Communications Insight For More Inspiring Leaders Thoughts on Successful Careers and Leadership

Thoughts on Successful Careers and Leadership

 5th Feb 2022

I remember a conversation about #careers with a blue-chip CEO some years ago.

“Successful careers take one of two trajectories” he said.

“In the first, you specialise early, gain in-depth, functional expertise… fast. You’ll get promoted swiftly and be paid more.”

“But sooner or later, you have to plateau - at least if you want to be successful in more senior leadership roles. You have to take time to broaden out, widen your experience and build skills in dealing with people.”

“In the second route, you start as a generalist. You gain a broader set of experiences early. You don’t get promoted as fast or get paid as much as quickly.”

“But having invested that time, your career then rapidly accelerates - because you have the experience needed to take on those bigger leadership roles.”

Either route works - it just depends whether you focus first, then broaden. Or the other way round.

I’m struck by Eddie Jones’ comments in his latest book on today’s elite sports professionals, in their early career.

They arrive, he suggests, with fantastic functional skills (often honed in the rarefied bubble of academies). But then need time to develop the skills and experience needed to thrive as team leaders.

Sounds like trajectory 1.

Any thoughts?

Meanwhile, will be looking out for leaders on the field in today’s England-Scotland Six Nations Match!

#ceo #leadership #career #leaders #personaldevelopment #sports #communication #storytelling


Simon brought his vast experience to the subject of storytelling which he masters wholly. He skilfully guided members through his unique series of techniques for both developing and delivering business stories that, by definition, can belong only to each individual business concerned. An excellent morning and highly recommended.


 Gordon Bromley I Chairman, Surrey & SW London Academy for Chief Executives

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