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From COS to CRO: How to chart a path from your current to future role

Be strategic and approach your career just as you would approach your business.

A crucial step of career planning is knowing where you want to go and developing a plan of action to get you there.

We have seen incredible value through our career planning intensives. These intensives yield a clear-eyes assessment of where an executive is against where they want to go as well as guide decision-making when faced with competing priorities. Not to mention, they help focus how an executive & their team spend their most precious resource — time.

But the gap between today’s role and your dream career is often ambiguous making the plan of action hard to plot. As trusted advisors to leaders we host these intensives so they can be strategic not just with their business, but also with their career — we want to make that planning real. Our clients leave their sessions with a strategy and a tangible framework to get where they want to go.

We typically host our intensives as offsites with our clients who are already in leadership roles but are ready for their next role. Below, we’ll outline just a few key concepts of our process to get your creativity flowing.

One of the foundational pieces of your framework will be a Strategy Statement. This statement will act as your North Star, and all your priorities will support it. 🌟

There will be two types of Strategy Statements:

Each strategy statement will have an objective, scope, and advantage. For example:

Use this initial brainstorm to further refine your Strategy Statement. For context, think 24+ months out. Then, consider what milestones can be accomplished in 12 months. 🗺️

A personal strategy statement provides a clear and focused roadmap for career development, helping individuals align their goals and actions with their values and aspirations. By articulating one’s professional purpose and priorities, it serves as a guiding compass, fostering better decision-making and increasing the likelihood of achieving long-term success. 🎯

Next, complete a Leadership Skills Portfolio Assessment to ascertain what skills to amplify and what to mitigate to achieve your goal. We use the Sparklos’ Leader Job Framework as our template — Accountability, Alignment, Capability, Culture, Growth, People, Value Narrative, Purpose, Resources, and Strategy Execution.

It might also be valuable to leverage anything your organization has published that outlines what great executives look like internally. For example, we’ve seen skills like Embodies Values, Great Manager, Org SME, Driver, etc.

List each of these jobs or skills out. For each skill, evaluate versus the objective in your Leader Strategy Statement. Then categorize it:

Try to express amplifiers and blockers as concretely as possible. ✏️ This will help identify key activities you should prioritize in your plan of action. For example, “a critical decision-maker in the promotion process views the executive as weak on the ability to drive productive conflict & sees that as necessary for success in the desired role”.

Another important note is that not all leader strengths or weaknesses are relevant to your goals.

Navigating the intricacies of career planning requires a tangible roadmap, and that’s where the power of a Strategy Statement and an honest Leadership Skills Portfolio Assessment come into play. By articulating your professional purpose and identifying key skills, you transform abstract aspirations into actionable steps.

Remember, clarity is the compass that guides your journey. 🧭 As you embark on this path armed with self-awareness and a strategic plan, you’re not just envisioning your destination; you’re actively forging the path towards it.

Embrace the journey, stay true to your goals, be strategic with your career and watch as your career aspirations transform into reality. 🚀

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