“It’s good to be the King!”
Working hard and reaching the top is something that many strive for… and why not? It’s recognition for your hard work… it’s validation that you have the right stuff to make things happen – and the perks… the perks could be wonderful! Now, granted, there are a lot of challenges on your way to the top and, even more, once you arrive. But today, we’re going to talk about a few simple scenarios about how you may actually get there!
Let’s assume you are working in a great company (e.g. Apple, Google, etc) – how do get ahead? Well, if it’s such a great company, chances are, there is a long line of people in front of you who may be equally if not better qualified for the position you (all) seek! Furthermore, they may have tenure at the company that you don’t have. So, how do you land that coveted position? My answer? They either leave the company (for whatever reason) or they fall off the face of the planet… extreme – but you get my point. Remember, if it’s such a great company, I think the question you need to start asking yourself is not, “How do I get ahead?” but rather, “Why would anyone want to leave such a great company?” Now, couple the correct question with, “The economy’s not so great… these people are going to fight tooth and nail to keep the job they have!” Get my point? Yes? Move on? Good…
[Side note: many good companies have management tracks that identify outstanding people so that’s a great way, if you prefer to stay with the company, to get ahead so don’t get discouraged. Just plan on doing your time]
Let’s assume you are working hard (for any company) and you’re ready to make the jump into a more senior role… what’s the right way? Clearly, based upon the aforementioned section, moving up in the same company could be very difficult – not impossible, but difficult. That said, many people make jumps from one company to another to achieve the coveted title they seek. This is a great tactic, if part of a larger well thought out strategy, to get ahead. Key thought here being ‘strategic intent’ – don’t just jump for a better title… make sure it’s the right role, there is fit, etc – you get the point.
“Attach yourself to a winner!” A great find of mine taught me this… not all of us can be CEO but that’s not to say that we can’t reach some great senior positions. Remember – all top execs need good lieutenants! So, find someone you believe is a winner and attach yourself… and most importantly, enjoy the ride!
For those of you who need an example… look at most of the top companies that exist today – now look at the senior execs in the company and ask yourself if they “attached themselves to a winner and enjoyed the ride?” I rest my case.
At the end of the day – there are many (ethical) ways to get ahead. At the core of all approaches, it’s about your commitment to yourself, your commitment to your work, the value you add, and your ability to get things done! Most importantly – get out there!!
To your continued success!