Navigating the Leadership Dip Book

I’m planning a new book on the psychological experience of transitioning into creative leadership.

From my coaching practice, I know the shift from IC to managing and/or leading others triggers a mid-career crisis of confidence for many that goes unspoken. Many feel they’ve got the promotion so they should know what they’re doing, but they feel like they’re flying by the seat of their pants. It can be a jarring dip, since they have usually been successful enough so far to get the promotion.

Often it collides with a mid-life crisis of questioning whether, having got to the place they had been aiming for, this is really what they want. Most of my coaching moves back and forth between the tactical and highly personal. You can’t lead others if you can’t lead yourself.

As an experiment, I’m going to try to write this in public “with the garage door up”, as Andy Matuschak describes it, to ensure diversity of feedback and stories.

I’m not even entirely sure a book is the right format (perhaps I’ll leave it as a microsite) and I’m very sure this experience is more universal than those in the creative professions I’ve experienced.

I’m interested in anyone’s thoughts on the approach of writing this way, as well as anyone who is willing to share their own stories, especially those from different backgrounds to my own. The community is starting life as a kind of private beta in Slack. If you’d like to be involved, please fill in this survey here and also get in touch to let me know (at some point I’ll close the survey and I have already added a first round of people to Slack so I’ll need to grab your details from the survey).

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