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Career Advancement from Executor to Executive: Unlock Your Potential

In the corporate world, there are oodles and oodles of talented, innovative, strategic thinkers who find themselves trapped in roles where they are the executors of repetitive tasks rather than being recognized as the executives they truly deserve to be.

A beautiful mountain and sea landscape, and a hand holding up a white picture frame in front of it
The face of a capable strategic thinker who's bored out of her mind executing repetitive tasks

They sit in their cubicles (or home offices), possessing the skills, knowledge, and leadership capabilities that make them deserving of executive positions where they can truly make a deeper impact through their work...

But alas, they are stifled. Relegated to following the directives from the top without having a seat at the table or an opportunity to bring their valuable insights into the decision-making process.

Do you find yourself in this situation?

If so, it's time to take control of your career trajectory and unlock your executive potential. Because if you are blessed with the ability to think strategically, that is a veritable gift that serves no-one well if it's crammed into the corner. Think of your ability like Baby from Dirty Dancing... "no-one puts Baby in the corner." Same goes for your innovative thinking ability.

In this blog post, we'll explore some strategies and mindset shifts to help you prepare your transition from executor to executive.

Self-Assessment, Reflection, and Self-Awareness:

The first step in your planning process of advancing your career to the executive level is to evaluate your own skills, experience, and assertiveness.

Take a moment with me, right now, to do this little exercise.

Grab a notebook and something to write with. Then, reflect on your:

  • accomplishments

  • strengths

  • areas for growth

What are they? Write them down. Reflect on them, and then immediately take action on putting this information to good use.

In addition to this introspective work, seek feedback from trusted mentors or colleagues to gain further insight into your potential as an executive. Take notes on your conversations and create actionable steps for yourself.

These simple activities grow your level of self-awareness, which is a key building block in identifying the areas where you excel, as well as the opportunities to close any gaps you need to bridge in order to advance your career to the next level. They also catalyze action, which is important because without action, you stay in the same place... and if you're reading this, chances are that you aren't exactly thrilled with where you are right now and are curious to know what it takes to advance to the next level.

Take action, even if it's a small one, and do it today.

Expand Your Knowledge and Expertise:

Executives who thrive possess a broad understanding of the business landscape. That means expanding your scope from the task level and zooming out to see the implications of those tasks at a higher level.

If you're looking for move from executor to executive, take the initiative to expand your knowledge beyond your current role or department (and your organization) and gain a broader perspective.

Attend industry conferences, seminars, and workshops to stay updated on the latest trends and best practices. Take the initiative to present on them, write about them in articles on LinkedIn or as white papers, distinguish yourself as a thought leader in your areas of interest.

Take it a step further. Engage in professional development opportunities - such as career coaching and/or an executive leadership coaching programs that are either offered by your current organization or ones that you seek out on your own - to gain the necessary skills for higher-level decision-making, strategic thinking, and career advancement strategies.

Take your career into your own hands and invest time, money, and energy into gathering tools and experiences that result in your immediate and long-term success.

Exercise your Strategic Mindset:

Directly related to the section above, executives are responsible for driving organizations forward. They do so by making critical decisions and setting strategic goals based on their high-level understanding of the business landscape.

Shift your mindset from being solely focused on executing tasks to thinking more strategically. Look at the bigger picture and how your work aligns with the company's objectives. Proactively seek opportunities to contribute ideas and solutions that demonstrate your strategic thinking abilities.

Strengthen your strategic-thinking skills by exercising them, and finding (or creating) opportunities to further develop those skills. If the opportunities are impossible to create with your current employer, find a creative solution to this obstacle by applying your strategic thinking in volunteer activities with an organization whose mission aligns with your passions and interests, or creating events that help move your community forward in meaningful ways.

Continue exercising your strategic-thinking skills, gathering experiences, and documenting them so you can build up the evidence and credentials that advance your career into an executive-level position.

Cultivate Leadership Skills:

Leadership skills are a hallmark of executives. Take every opportunity to lead, even if it's outside of your current role.

Volunteer for cross-functional projects, mentor junior colleagues, or take on leadership roles in professional organizations in your industry of interest. Developing your leadership capabilities will demonstrate your readiness for an executive position and help you gain the respect and trust of your peers and superiors. Not to mention, it will give you the experiences you need to determine the type of leadership capabilities you already possess, and the ones you'd like to further develop.

Keep notes of all your leadership-related activities as well as your reflections on them. You will need your notes to retell your professional story on your resume and LinkedIn when the time comes for you to make your career advancement. Without this documentation, your memory may not serve you as well as you wish it would when the time comes. Trust me on this, I see it time and time again with my clients.

Build a Strong Network:

Networking is an overlooked yet essential component for career advancement. Connect with professionals in your industry, attend networking events, and engage with online communities.

Build relationships with influential individuals who can open doors to new opportunities and provide you with valuable insights as you navigate your journey towards becoming an executive.

Develop relationships with them, keep those relationships warm, and implement this next point into your discussions with them....

Communicate Your Aspirations:

Make your ambitions known to your leadership, mentors, and network partners. Share your desire to take on more strategic responsibilities and contribute at an executive level. Seek feedback on the steps you need to take to make this transition. By expressing your aspirations, you not only showcase your ambition but also make others aware of your potential and interest in growing within your organization and opens up the possibility for opportunities elsewhere. Often times, your leadership (or anyone else, for that matter) won't know what your aspirations are until you tell them. Don't wait for them to ask you or tap you on the shoulder for an unexpected promotion. Be proactive and make them aware of your aspirations.


If you find yourself deserving of an executive position but are currently executing tasks below your potential, it's time to take charge of your career. Embrace self-assessment, expand your knowledge, exercise your strategic mindset, cultivate leadership skills, build a strong network, and communicate your aspirations.

Your path to becoming an executive will require you to be both proactive and patient, but with determination and strategies like these, you can start making progress toward unlocking your potential and rise to the executive level you deserve.

Are you ready to make the leap from executor to executive?

Take the first step today by scheduling a brainstorming session with yourself. Assess your skills, set strategic goals, and seek out opportunities for growth. The journey isn't always the easiest, but the rewards are worth it.

As a career coach specializing in helping professionals advance their careers while achieving a fulfilling work-life flow, it is my personal mission to support those who know it's time to take their career to the next level. If you know you'd like support to carry out these and other strategies aimed at growing your career success, schedule a complimentary call with me today.

You deserve to be recognized for being a superstar and have something to show for it both with the executive title and the accompanying higher income.

Don't let your potential go untapped. Seize this opportunity to invest in your professional growth and unlock your path to executive success. Schedule your complimentary call today by visiting my website or contacting me directly. Let's embark on this transformative journey together!

Cheers to your well-deserved career advancement!

With big love from your career coach,



Career Coach Griz smiling at you

Grisel Scarantino, MA, ODPC is a Career Success Optimizer. She helps caring, big-picture thinkers advance their career and achieve a healthy work-life flow. Grisel is also a consultant, speaker, author, home chef, Bigfoot enthusiast, and lover of life. If you are ready to take your career to the next level and better enjoy the life that you're working so hard to support, visit her website at and schedule your complimentary call with Grisel today.

For daily tips and informative content, connect with Grisel on LinkedIn.


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