My dentist recently told me something fascinating: When we grow older, the biggest health risks for our teeth are no longer erosion, decay or cavities. Instead, it’s the quality of our gum. When gum deteriorates, retreats or gets infected, our teeth lose anchoring and stability.
The same is true for our professional career: When we grow more experienced, the issues which limit our performance are no longer missing skills, or making unnecessary mistakes. What’s often holding us back is the lack of a support system: A structured success environment which enables us to do our best work.
A success environment provides the experienced executive and seasoned professional with fresh thinking, honest feedback, and positive encouragement. This is not always easy: Senior leaders are often the loneliest people in any organization. They need to role-model an uplifting spirit, yet where do they turn to when they want to share their doubts and insecurities?
This is why they often work with external trusted advisors and become part of a Mastermind: A group of external peers, dedicated to make each other more successful.
Perhaps the time has come for you to shift your focus as well: From developing additional skills, to building your own success environment to keep the gum of your professional life in mint condition.