Most leaders don’t know how to answer this question.
This is a major handicap to making progress.

I’ve coached dozens of managers. I often ask them why they should be approached to take their dream job.
The answer is often limited to the things they’ve done, with figures to back this up, as if there weren’t dozens of other managers capable of doing the same thing!
The real answer lies elsewhere, in what they do better than anyone else:
👉 What we do better than others, we take for granted and we may not even realize it.
👉 When we think about our talents, we’re caught between the image we think we should portray, what we’d like to be and what we really know about ourselves. We’re not clear-sighted.

Ask your bosses what they recognized in you!
There’s a simple way of answering the question “Why me?” It’s to ask your former bosses.
Ask them why they chose you, why they supported you and what they recognised in you.
You’ll come away with a positive and enriched image of yourself. It will help you identify the talents on which to build your career path.
Three bosses who gave me wings.
Speaking for myself, here’s what I learnt from talking to some of my bosses:

  • Elie Simon, CEO of Tagsys, where I was VP Marketing. We raised €35m together. By recognising my talent for clarifying problems, giving substance to his strategic vision and storytelling, he allowed me to fully take my role in the management team.
  • Francois Farhi, no. 2 at Louis Berger Inc, where I was market manager. He recognised my ability to do business without being a killer, my discipline and my creativity in introducing innovative methods into the company. I developed a business on my own with his support.
  • Anton Aucamp, Senior VP at ABN Amro Bank, whom I succeeded. While I was unconsciously trying to look like a banker, he encouraged me to build on my passion for customers to get my ideas across in a complex organization. I succeeded him by remaining true to myself.

By recognizing who I am, all three bosses have allowed me to grow as a leader, where I’m really good.
The mirror held up by those who have put their trust in you is an extraordinary eye-opener.
Have you asked your bosses what they recognize in you?