Vital Pyramid - ZM Coach

Stepping into a leadership role brings a number of challenges:

  • Gaining credibility with your new boss and company leadership
  • Building new (or different) relationships with your new team members, including some who may have applied for the job you now hold
  • Getting to know your new peers, and sorting out how your work aligns to theirs
  • Getting comfortable with working at a new level – one step removed from the details you’ve been accustomed to managing
  • Communicating in a way that sets the tone for your leadership
  • Creating a vision for your team that will be compelling and inspiring
  • Building the culture you want, where people are committed, productive and accountable

And doing all of this while delivering the results you’ve been hired to produce.

To be successful, you need four critical components, illustrated in The Vital Pyramid:


I didn’t make this up. This comes from the world of Britain’s elite SAS commandos. They’re essentially Britain’s version of the Navy Seals. Some consider them the top counter-terrorist force in the world. Developed by John “Lofty” Wiseman, this model guided the SAS – it’s what they believe kept them alive against all odds.

These are the 4 things you need to create success against any outcome – whether it’s entering hostile territory, or entering a new role.

The bigger the piece, the more IMPORTANT it is.

So what do you notice?

By far, the biggest and most important piece is MINDSET.

Then, you need an amazing GAME PLAN.

Then, you need the SKILL SET.

And finally, you need the TOOLS.

I’ve used this model to create my Engaging Leadership program, and I believe you can also put them to work for you as you’re thinking about stepping into your new role.

Let’s review them all, in order of importance:

1. Mindset – Mindset is #1 because without it you’re paralyzed. Imposter Syndrome takes over, and seeps into everything you do. You come across as uncertain, and wishy-washy. You stall on critical decisions. You second-guess yourself. That’s why I’ve spent over $60,000 on my own development to become one of the best mindset coaches in the business. Because I know that’s what my clients need most, and I’m 100% committed to providing it. And I didn’t make this investment in just one coaching school. I studied with multiple experts, so that I could pull together the best of the best into a unique approach to serve all aspects of mindset challenges clients face in organizational life. More than one client has called it “life-changing.”

2. Game Plan – As I’ve said already, taking on a new role can be overwhelming. It feels like everything has to be done at once. You need a step-by-step strategy for building your vision, your team, and your reputation. It must cover all of the bases, and do so effectively. This is what I help my clients create through our work together. We break it down and put it into a plan. As a result, they know exactly what they need to do now to be successful.

3. Skill Set – Stepping into the next level of leadership means you also need to up-level your skillset. You’ll need the next level of communication, management, delegation, and strategic skills. What got you promoted will not be sufficient for the next level. AND – most of these skills cannot be learned from reading about them. You need to put them into practice to really build the muscle. For that, it really helps if to do that with a coach. Just like in sports, athletes need coaches to observe them and help them achieve peak performance. The same is true for managers. Unfortunately, in the business world there has been a trend toward coaches only working with people at the top tier of an organization. Imagine if that were true for athletes – if they only got a coach once they had already made it to the pros. It makes no sense. Managers need coaches much earlier in the game, so that they can accelerate their development and get to that next level.

4. Tools – Finally, you need specific tools and frameworks, practical ways of organizing your thinking and your work. Tools aren’t the most important component, but they do matter. You need to be sure you have the right tools in your toolkit to solve the problems you will encounter. It doesn’t help to have a hammer when you need to turn a screw. That’s why my program includes the most valuable tools I relied on during my 20 years of coaching teams and their leaders.

Whatever your outcome, consider these components of the Vital Pyramid to be sure you have all of the pieces in place to be successful.

If your outcome is stepping into your leadership role with authentic confidence, the Engaging Leadership system has everything you need. Thanks to the SAS and the Vital Pyramid, it has been engineered to set you up for success. Clients who go through it build their authentic confidence, a clear vision for success, high performing teams, and productive partnerships with colleagues. Above all, they deliver the results that set them up for their next promotion.

If you’re not where you want to be in your leadership, chances are something from the Vital Pyramid is missing. Book a call and we’ll figure out what it is. If it’s something I can help you with, we’ll talk about what that could look like. And if not, I’ll do my best to point you to other resources. Either way, you’ll walk away with clarity about how to take your leadership to the next level.

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