Because I specialize in onboarding coaching with leaders moving into new organizations or up to a challenging new level of leadership, I am eager to read all the latest books on these important transitions. Scott Eblin’s book, The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success, Davies-Black Publishing, 2006, is a highly accessible read. Drawing on in-depth interviews with leaders, Eblin identifies nine key sets of behaviors and beliefs that rising executives must pick up and let go of to suceed at the next level.

I have always found it particularly rewarding to coach leaders through the shift of letting go of a behavior that has been the very ticket for getting them promoted. A common example is the high-achieving, results-focused individual contributor who is promoted to management and suddenly finds himself struggling with the challenge of letting go of his own hands-on approach and needing to shift to “getting things done through others”.

There are apparent connections between the behaviors that Eblin describes and the 7 types of transitions or promotional steps described in the classic, The Leadership Pipeline, by Ram Charan,Stephen Drotter and James Noeland . This has long been a favourite book of mine for its powerful insights about the significant shifts in skill-set requirements that accompany major promotions. For example:
o “From Managing Self to Managing Others”
o “From Managing Others to Managing Managers”
o “From Functional Manager to Business Manager”

In The Next Level, Eblin also describes the differentiators between success and failure for new executives. Many of his observations are consistent with the reasearch interviews I had conducted in developing the Clearing the 90-Day Hurdle process. (A copy of the report, Top 10 Success Factors and Seven Deadly Sins for Leaders Transitioning Into Organizations can be downloaded here

A useful book to add to your library about transition experiences.