As you move up in your organization, you need to continually expand your scope and repertoire, taking on a wider and wider range of roles. You experience a new set of demands. Excellent analytical skills are no longer enough. The ability to execute a strategy is no longer enough. Now it is important to build trust with clients, to become an adviser rather than someone who simply carries out your clients’ requests. You must be able to lead a room or a discussion, even when you are not designated as the leader. You must be able to contribute to a meeting with impact and power, as well as being flexible enough to change course and/or style as needed. Your identity must come through in a greater range of situations, from cocktail parties to casual encounters in a lunchroom to client meetings in the boardroom. It becomes crucial that you are an embodiment of the company brand.
The real challenge is now to bring out your individual persona – to become more creative and impactful in your dealings with clients and with colleagues. In other words, you being asked to step out of the roles you know and into new territory.
In literature, persona is defined as the voice representing the speaker. It is a vehicle for creative expression. Using this definition, we can say that our job here is to bring out your individual voice and viewpoint, allowing you to release old roles and step into new ones.
At TAI, we have seen that when people are able, even for a few moments, to let go of the roles they have assigned themselves, they experience themselves as more flexible and powerful. They can see their effectiveness and expand into new roles, knowing that they can use elements of the old roles as they see fit. Their definition of themselves changes, allowing them to take on the demands of new terrains and functions. And, as their experience of themselves changes, their effect on those around them changes as well. As they step into an expanded definition of themselves, others become willing to see them in a new light. As they allow more of themselves to be seen, they become more interesting, acquire a greater sense of authority, expand their ability to be in relationship, and, most of all, expand their ability to lead.