Thursday, September 9, 2010

Getting Promoted, Gaining Power, Keeping Power

Ad nauseam, you've been told that the keys to rising in your organization are intelligence, hard work, ethics, and being easy to work with. Not enough. These, should help:

Train for your promotion.What’s the next job you want? What skills and knowledge don’t you yet have? Get them.
  • Try to join a department on the rise.
  • Flatter your bosses--a lot.Jennifer Chatman, a Berkeley researcher found you can't flatter too much. A little-known way to flatter is to ask a boss for help. Not only does that make bosses feel valued, if s/he does help, s/he's invested time and expertise in you and so is more likely to want to see you move up.
  • Write a proposal for an initiative that, while consistent with the culture and mission of the organization, would be an exciting yet realistic quantum leap ahead for the organization. Send it, in advance, to the attendees of an important meeting. Get their input. Get permission to present the revised version at the meeting. Make that presentation with CEO-like crispness. (Watch C-Span, CNBC, and YouTube to see CEO types in action.)
  • Become a networking node by starting a new workgroup in your organization or forging a link between parts of your organization.
  • Seek out a better job offer from another employer.
  • Give a talk at a conference.
  • Get quoted in a trade publication. Have one of your allies show it to a higher-up.
  • When you gain a powerful position, remember that power does corrupt, so be sure to keep your ethics. But remember also that your supervisees or your peers outside your organization may not be so ethical and may try to tear you down so they can replace you or simply make themselves look good in comparison.
  • Know when to quit. If you leave when things are as good as they're likely to be, you'll more likely land an even more powerful job.


Anonymous said...

The advice to flatter is important, takes a few seconds, and is easy to do. It's even easier--and more honest--if there's at least some truth in each of your compliments.

On a side note, Marty Nemko's blogs range from intelligent to brilliant, and Marty is one good-looking, sexy guy.

Michael R. Edelstein

ST said...

Unfortunately, flattery usually means kissing their ass. Not a game I ever wanted to play. If I respect my manager (or any manager), I will work hard and be courteous.

Besides performance and results (sometimes), moving up the ranks requires you to have an image management finds attractive to the organization. Either they're very charismatic, know exactly what to say and when in meetings, command a presence, and yes, are able to guide people to get results. A lot of toadies out there though, and in fact the word verification I need to type in for this post is "towdee". Too funny.


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