These are not really secrets, nor do they work for everyone, nor do I claim that below is an exhaustive list of strategies. However, the advice below in aggregate can help you rise to a higher level within your organization, if you have reasonable leaders in a growing and successful company.
- Decide that you want to level up and rise within your organization, and consistently strive to do so. So many people apply bursts of initiative and effort here and there, which only serves to confuse others – at times you’re seen as motivated and brilliant, and at other times, you fly under the radar. Consciously deciding to level up means bringing your A game every time, all the time.
- This is assuming that your A game is good, that you perform well by everyone’s measure, that you are successful working on a diverse range of projects and a wide range of responsibilities, partners and staff.
- Clearly communicate your role in the success of projects, without taking credit for the work that others have done.
- Watch for people who take the credit for the work that you do and strategize on how to fix that directly or indirectly. In the wort case, the leaders and management will never give you the credit, role, resources, recognition and responsibility you deserve, so if you’re deciding to level up, you are in the wrong company.
- There are more opportunities in companies that are doing well in growing markets of course. However, there are also many opportunities to help stagnating companies in declining markets make a pivot toward a more profitable product, service or market. The key is to understand the needs of the customer in your market and adjacent markets.
- But knowing the needs of the customers and the trends in the market is not enough. You need to know how your company can shift its products and offerings to better serve that customer.
- And knowing that isn’t enough either. You have to convince key stakeholders throughout the organization about this strategy and collaborate with all stakeholders with the objective of better serving the customer.
- Succeeding in the above will change your relationships with many people. Most will be surprised to see a new side of you. Some will not like it, and try to play games and revert the relationship to the way it used to be. Get the support you need to be strong and purposeful. Know who your friends are, and don’t trust those who are only pretending to be your friend.
- Doing the above well means that you will have a larger profile, a broader and deeper network, as well as more credibility, responsibility and resources. You may choose to stop ascending if the responsibilities, pressure and stress are too much, if it’s not what you want or need after all. If you decide to do that, make sure it’s the right choice for you. It would be hard to change your mind later and try again to level up, for there will be those who remember when you last tried to do so. But don’t judge yourself if you decide *not* to ‘swim with the sharks’. It’s definitely not for everyone!
- But if you do decide to continue leveling up, make sure that you’re emotionally, mentally, psychologically and physically up to that level of exposure and pressure, and get the support you need to stay fresh, centered and strong.
Best wishes on your journey up the corporate escalator. We welcome your comments on how *you* would level-up.