October 11, 2012

The Secret To Moving On Up At Your Organization

I've been thinking lately about how one really moves up inside an organization. 

Many might think it's about performance or schmoozing.  The former is hard, because not everyone gets an opportunity to produce measureable results.  The latter isn't really true, except for those rare situations where the leadership cares more about being popular than organizational success. 

Recently, I discovered for myself the best three steps.  They account for my rise at broadcast.com, then later again at Yahoo.  Recently, a good friend of mine (in his 20's) was leaving for his first corporate conference.  He was excited about the trip, the food, the chance to socialize and all the parties likely to happen.  Why not? 

I gave him this advice: Leverage the conference to move up in your organization.  Many will have your POV, and goof off publicly there or worse.  Let them eat cake and guzzle beer while you move up.  He asked me, "what then should I do?"  The advice I gave him is the same advice I'd give anyone, whether you are just starting out at a company or participating in a training program/conference. 

1. Learn - Open your ears and eyes to take in all the data, stories and advice you can. Attend everything you can, take notes like an A student, and ask questions until you 'get it'.  Do your homework and then do some extra credit work on your break.  

2. Demonstrate Learning - For many leaders, this is how they spot real team players.  It's one thing to know-it-all, it's another to put it into practice.  Find ways to apply your learning in real-world situations, and don't be afraid to take your mentor with you on your journey or report the results to them later.  

3. Lead Others To Learn - As you succeed with your new found learning, leverage your success to convince others to become students and not just workers.  Challenge them from your position of strength to give more of their mind to grow.  Offer to mentor those who are struggling and reward their attention with praise (and more time).  Offer to teach a class or gather students for one. Nothing encourages your leadership more than this behavior, as it's the way to creating organizational bench strength. 

Posted at 10:19 AM in Business Trends , Leadership  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)



You have shared the secret of moving up in your organization. The information shared is excellent


¡Qué amable es usted! Este blog es excelente.


Lead other to learn that is one of the thing that some employee or leader can't do that why many of leader have a weak group,in Finland country there are several recruitment agency which they train they new employee the relevant job for a better purpose.Anyway thanks for sharing.


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Thanks Tim, reading your posts have really given me ideas on how to handle my business online along with any business ventures I may pursue in the future.


My personal favorite recipe for success comes from Harvey Coleman: P.I.E.: Performance, Image, Exposure. Any one of them will get you so far, but, you need all three to move up the ladder of success in business. If you want to be a leader: peform like one, dress and act like one, and leverage every opportunity for exposure to management / leadership in your organization.


Hey Tim- Thanks for sharing from your personal experience. The suggestions that you listed in this post have obviously worked well for you!


David -

Your point, there's politics at work or work is an act is well taken. But I still wouldn't advise someone to take such a surface level approach. In my experience, and the case of many people I've managed and counseled...learn, apply and lead is the only prescription for moving up in a true excellence driven culture.
If you want to move up in a crappy company, then work on the surface stuff and you'll likely jump over more qualified people.



I don't mean to be a buzzkill but presentation will often time trump results. It happens in business just as it does in politics. Look at the debates more is spoken of demeanor than content. You may become a supervisor because of results but after that its about salesmanship. In the real world you need find what you management is pushing and you need learn to sell it effectively. I recommend joining toastmasters to learn and practice this art. It's no longer about a Powerful Point but a great PowerPoint.



That's a good supplemental strategy.


And don't forget the very basic stuff:

Show up on time
Dress correctly
Get the job done
Follow the rules

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