Executive expectations

Executive skills pose a great challenge to leaders growing up to top responsibility levels. One of this challenges is the ability to hire, retain and dismiss talent, at the right time.

Most of the time we fail at it. However, the spirit of the title or word "executive" is to "make things happen through the right people at the right time". 

So what's exactly the part we are missing? 

Like sport skills, executive skills need learning and practice, and few of us devote the time, resources and effort needed to do so. 

But the most interesting thing isn't that. It is what lies behind.

Being ourselves in our confort zone doesn't resonate with demanding others keeping out of it. So whenever I am not hiring, retaining and dismissing talent, at the right time, it also means I'm in my confort zone too.

A chief executive letting his/her direct reports not manage talent the right way also means he or she is also in the confort zone. Executive positions and salaries convey the huge value creation that can come out from taking these kinds of risks, all while managing uncertainty and turning all types of challenges in your favor. 

So the next time you are thinking of rewarding executive performance, think twice if you punish failure because then no one will come out of their confort zone and take risks. Instead, reward trying new things, like exploring, visiting tough prospects, having difficult conversations, withstanding conflict, finding difficult-to-reach mentors, hiring and dismissing people, putting themselves up to higher challenges, etc.

If you reward for goals achievement, that sounds like a confort zone too; most of the time it's just sales inertia. If so, there will be a quarter sooner or later that will make you question if past success wasn't just the result of our expectations.

Do you recall that having expectations about something has really helped you?