Executive Self-Assessment for Career Progression: The SECRET Technique

Dean Stamoulis, Ph.D discusses career progression through self-assessment

Dean Stamoulis, global leader of Russell Reynolds Associates' Executive Assessment Practice, recently presented at the NFL Leadership Lecture Series, discussing key strategies that can be used to develop senior executive leaders. Central to Stamoulis’ presentation, ‘What High Potential Executives Do’, was SECRET – an executive assessment technique used to ensure ongoing career progression.

Comprised of six key areas, SECRET is a useful tool for executives to assess their current position and consider specific ways to increase their value to their organization. See below for details of SECRET and how to incorporate each area of improvement into your daily work:

S - Strategic Contribution
E - Extend Your Job Description
C - Compelling Communication
R - Relationships
E - Evaluate Yourself
T - Track Record

S - Strategic Contribution

  • What is important to your organization? Take the viewpoint of your company.
  • Obtain external information/perspective about opportunities and threats.
  • Put yourself mentally “in the shoes” of your manager to understand where your contributions should be focused.
  • Introduce new ideas and solutions.
  • Embrace challenge and change.

E - Extend Your Job Description

  • Volunteer for and start initiatives and committees.
  • Let others know you want to do more and offer help in areas that most interest your development goals.
  • Think about your resume: broaden your involvement and activity.

C - Compelling Communication

  • Create buy in and do not step on others’ toes.
  • Customize communication to the context and situation.
  • Be clear, concise and constructive.

R - Relationships

  • Enlarge your network.
  • Help others and in return you will create reciprocity.
  • Use coffee breaks and meals as key relationship building situations.
  • Ask questions to broaden your awareness and increase your knowledge.
  • Follow through on your word to create trust.

E - Evaluate Yourself

  • Ask for honest feedback.
  • Fill your gaps and correct your course.

T - Track Record

  • Tactically work hard and effectively.
  • Clearly meet your stated commitments.
  • Objectively represent achievements without ego/arrogance.

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 About Russell Reynolds Associates

Leadership for a Changing World. In today’s global business environment, success is driven by the talent, vision and leadership capabilities of senior executives. Russell Reynolds Associates is a leading global executive search and assessment firm with more than 300 consultants based in 40 offices worldwide. Our consultants work closely with public and private organizations to assess and recruit senior executives and board members to drive long-term growth and success. Our in-depth knowledge of major industries and our clients’ specific business challenges, combined with our understanding of who and what make an effective leader, ensures that our clients secure the best leadership teams for the ongoing success of their businesses.