The Case for Maturity

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“I have always succeeded …. I am terrified that in this new role I will fail,” she confessed, 30 minutes into our first meeting together. Newly promoted into a SVP role and considered one of the highest of the high potentials, my client was already stressing herself out with late nights, unrealistic expectations of herself and team, and brutal second guessing and criticism of her own performance.  One look at her 360 and it was clear she was not only quite competent at what she did but others thought so too, making her competence doubly apparent.  “Tell me what I need to develop to succeed in this job”, she said, pulling out the development planner stapled to the last page of her 360 report.

“You’ve already got all the competence you need to do this job,” I assured her. “It’s not competence we need to work on…. its maturity.” “Are you suggesting that I am immature?”, my client asked, slightly amused. “Hardly,” I answered. “Maturity in this sense is where the gravitas you have cultivated over years of experience meets up with the agility needed to understand and work with different ideas, personalities, agendas… –you know, the issues you are currently spending your nights and weekends trying to find the right answer for.”

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