Think you've got what it takes to become a hot-shot executive but that your boss is holding you back? Or maybe you're just sick and tired of working your butt off while everyone else gets ahead? Well, quit your whining, and do something about it.
No, don't get a self-help book; they're mostly a waste of time. I've got a better idea. But before we go any further, I need to say this: I'm no career guidance expert, I don't have volumes of data, and I'm not here to sell you anything. On the other hand, I do have five hard-learned, real-life lessons from the trenches.
Learning these lessons enabled my success. Yeah, I know, I hate people who say that too, "I was a big success in [fill in the blank] and, if you buy my book, you can be a success too." The only difference between them and me is that I'm not trying to sell you anything.
Will my lessons work for you or anyone else? Fair question. I have no idea. But I do think they're fundamental and not the kind of stuff you're likely to find hanging around a bookstore. These are not obvious "falling off a log" lessons. I learned them through painful trial and error. Speaking of which, if you'd like to know whose advice you're taking, just check out my bio.
If there's an overriding message, it's this: success isn't easy, and there are no formulas. Anyone who says otherwise just wants to sell you something. Everything you're about to read is hard, but I don't know of any work-arounds. If there were an easier way, trust me, I'd have tried it. And, like anything significant in life, just reading it isn't likely to help you much. But if it resonates with you, perhaps it will affect your behavior and then, the sky's the limit.
Lesson 1: Get in the line of fire. Find a way to put yourself in a critical position on a program that can make or break the company. Take big risks, especially early in your career, when it doesn't matter so much. Stick your neck out and test your reach. Management will respect your willingness to put your butt on the line for the company. Don't get hung up on winning. Whether the project succeeds or fails is secondary. Same goes for titles and compensation. Show your capability first. Then see Lesson 2.… Read more