Building Your Career Blocks

by | Nov 15, 2021

by Nick Roud, Award Winning Executive Leadership Coach


Where are you heading asked Sarah* the Chairperson of one of my clients.  I was running late for my bi-weekly catch up with her CEO.  To the board room I replied. 

No, where are you heading……when you have finished with Mark* come and find me. I’d like to speak with you please.

Yep give me a couple of hours and we will grab a coffee.

My CEO client had been progressing extremely well, he had just completed his 360s and we had been working our way through the results, in the back of my mind was what did Sarah* mean, where are you going?

As the company’s Chairperson, Sarah was full of energy, gifted, talented, highly empathetic and very much invested in the long term success of her CEO Mark* and his leadership team.  She was instrumental in me partnering Mark and around five months earlier Mark and I met to discuss executive coaching and if it could enable his continued growth and success. 

During that initial conversation Mark and I discussed many things along with his career trajectory to running one of New Zealand’s largest businesses. Mark and I connected – it felt right and we both agreed that coaching would be good for him.

Many CEOs and professionals who I coach have not got to that position just by luck, good timing or by having a great track record. They all share thoughts on building blocks, building a long term plan, building their own skill set and building their networks. Under the surface each are self driven, self determined, competitive.  

During my coaching session Mark* shared with me that he was in the middle of creating a presentation. In a few weeks the entire Board and Leadership team would be meeting offsite to share their own career plans. It was timely he said, there had been an unsettlement around the leadership room, honest conversations were not being had and they all agreed it would be beneficial to understand each leader’s thoughts.  

I had the pleasure of being asked to observe that one day offsite meeting and then I was to partner each leader on his/her own leadership development. This process was truly rewarding to each leader. They got to really build on their current leadership skills and to build blocks that would be supported by the organisation.

CEOs who I have the pleasure of meeting and coaching all have interesting stories of how they reached the pinnacle of elite business success. None have gone through his/her career without fundamentally building blocks around them. Below I have highlighted a couple of little gems that should get you thinking. 

Be open to what those Building Blocks should be don’t try and rush. Taking short mini steps is a practical way to building your own career blocks.

One other thing to note is you don’t always need to be going up the ladder to be building blocks. You might need to go sideways or downwards in order to get to you desired destination……. 

What things you can start to build today

  • Build Your Network

  • Find A Mentor

  • Keep A Career Journal

  • Seek Out Feedback

  • Understand Your True Strengths

  • Create Development pathways

  • Spend regular time reflecting

  • Gain A Bird’s Eye View 

  • Meet others outside your industry

  • Break the routine

  • Set Career Goals That stretch you

My question for you today is;

‘What are you actually going to do over the coming months to build on your career blocks or are you going to let another year just be that ‘another year’?

  • Start small and build habits

  • Allow yourself to adapt

  • Have fun, be brave

  • Review every quarter and reset

Truly exceptional CEOs are no different to anyone else, they just choose to put in the hard work and choose to actually do it!

Now I pass the baton over to you my friend – put in the time – put in the hard work and refine yourself to be the very best you can be

Yours in coaching

Nick x

*names changed to protect identity



For a confidential conversation about your leadership coaching needs, call Nick on +6421375630 or email him

Nick Roud

Nick Roud

Executive Leadership Coach

Nick is the Chairman of Nick Roud Coaching and a Global Award Winning Executive Coach. Nick holds the highest coaching qualification MCEC. His clients are typically Chief Executive Officers, Executives and Emerging Leaders. Nick’s office is based in Auckland, New Zealand and he travels extensively around the world to coach his clients. You can contact Nick directly on +6421375630