The smart people have a sense of urgency. They want to get around the bases as quickly as possible. The first step is to figure out where you want to go. Do you want to become the Director of International Marketing? How about the CIO? I'm sure that some of you want to eventually make the big decisions and become the President or CEO. While some of these goals may seem hard to reach, rest assured they are impossible unless you believe there is a way to make them happen.
Take Care of What You Can
There are many people who think they are failing to progress because of politics. They don't know the right people in the company, and they're unwilling to "play the game." To excel in any organization, one must able to interact with the decision-makers. I suppose some will say this is politics; if so, do what you can to participate in the process.
Here's a good way to get in front of the people who can fast-track your career... get involved with projects that will add value to the company. There are many opportunities to participate in these initiatives, and many of these projects are spearheaded or championed by the executives. This means you will meet face-to-face with these individuals, and you may be asked to make a presentation. I recommend that you ask for the opportunity to lead a meeting or present an update on how the project is progressing. In many cases, getting this opportunity is easy because others are intimated to speak before the organization's leaders.
Focus on Success
The people who climb the ladder quickly are effective in their work. They know what the result is supposed to look like, and they will do whatever it takes to get it done. There will undoubtedly be challenges along the way, but these top-notch employees will find a solution or workaround to ensure the product or service is delivered as close to the proposed schedule and budget.
You will also notice that successful people are great communicators. When a problem arises, they will immediately alert the appropriate stakeholders. Just as important, though, they will have a contingency plan in place. Because they are committed to meeting expectations, they will seek guidance from subject matter experts (SMEs) and company leaders. If they are heading in the wrong direction, these top performers are willing to accept it, and take the necessary corrective action.
Many people believe there is a secret to success, but there isn't. Everything that one needs to know about becoming successful is already printed in books. The first point to recognize is that success starts with knowing exactly where one wants to be in the future. With this in mind, the person begins a journey that is filled with roadblocks, obstacles, and unforeseen challenges. When a problem or issue arises, regardless of its size, it's imperative to find the best possible solution, and keep moving forward. This no-nonsense attitude to getting work done will eventually lead to the finish line, and it will give you on the radar. Once the leaders know you who are, and the good work you've done, the promotions will come quickly.
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