Periodic 360 feedback from the organization
If you ask people for feedback and typically respond to it in a constructive way, then they will typically give it to you. I usually awaited this periodic feedback with a sensation somewhere between dread and abject terror each time it was coming. But done right this feedback was almost always constructive, and it invariably gave me a roadmap for what was working as well as what wasn’t, which led directly to the new skills I needed to develop.
Working with a talented coach that I trusted
If world-class athletes like Tiger Woods utilized swing and strength coaches, why shouldn’t executives who aspired to improve use a management and leadership coach? I ended up using a number of coaches over the years.
Find a mentor or mentor(s)
I eventually made the realization that I wasn’t the first person who had gone through this situation… One of the things that makes Silicon Valley unique is that it’s one of the few places in the world where hyper-growth companies are spawned with fairly high regularity. So over time I developed a few close relationships with people who had “been there, done that” that proved very helpful to me.
(1) Wish it was easier to find a mentor and talented coach outside Silicon Valley.
(2) Thank you Michael Eisenberg for the tip.