Suriving and Thriving Together

By Anne Harbison

The Achiever's Dilemma

Working harder, longer, faster may be the way to climb the first part of your career ladder. But is there an end in sight? Decades of drive can easily turn into a grueling treadmill of effort and exhaustion. That's a dangerous place to be in the middle of a crisis. Now is the time to purposely navigate, not mindlessly execute. Stepping back to allow others to step up has its benefits.

There is hardly a senior executive that I coach who isn't in some way caught in what I call the "Achiever's Dilemma." Their success is a testament to their stamina, but increasingly the "good soldier" drive feels more like a tyrannical trap.

Getting stuff done matters. Of course! Executing with excellence is important, sure. In times of crisis and complexity, however, what we need to "execute" changes as new data, insights, and needs emerge. Dexterity actually matters more than drive. If we're too busy racing down the highway to bother to stop for gas or ask for directions, where...

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