Hi all, this piece of special blog is for a friend of mine. She was lamenting to me that she had often been passed over promotions, so I read up this book and put up this blog. Hope it will be useful !
Personally for myself, as a financial advisor in my company, there are no upward movements of career opportunities within the organization for my role. There are only potential income opportunities. Being more experienced and able to serve more clients better are important goals to me than moving up the corporate ladder.
10 Things you’d better do if you want to get ahead
by Donald Asher
1. Timing is as important as performance or talent
Employers are not rewarding strong performers for their past contributions, they are investing in their future contributions. The sooner you grasp this fundamental truth, the closer you will be to getting promoted.
If you are more valuable where you are, you won’t be getting that promotion. If it costs more to replace you than to hire someone else, they’ll hire someone else.
3 factors come into play for timing :
1) Anticpate the upcoming opportunity
2) Drawing your work to some kind of closure
3) Having a replacement ready to take over your old job – never be irreplaceable.
2. You have to get noticed
It is not how wonderful you are. It’s who knows you are wonderful. It is important to write well, speak well, present well, travel, volunteer and nail a special project.
3. Lifelong learning is required for lifelong success
Things change, and if you don’t change with them, you’ll become a dinosaur. Hanging on to old skills, and refusing to learn new skills, can make you a dinosaur but so can hanging on to old concepts and old values. Donald Asher advices 3 things
1) Learn what you need to know before anyone else does.
2) Become known as a problem solver
3) Learn how to say ‘no’. Having a can-do attitude but don’t be a yes man. When something’s not a winner, you have to learn to say, without whining , ” No I don’t want to do that. That’s not a good idea,”
4. All business is sales
One of my first jobs was selling advertising and I have to admit that I was not very good at it. How’d it go? my manager asked. “Lousy,” I said. “Nobody wants to buy advertising in our silly little tourist magazine.”
“No,” he said. “Nobody wants to buy you. You are no fun. You are not a good time. You are the picture of a bad hair day, my boy. Whenever anyone asks you how businesss is going, you say “Incredible!” or “Unbelievable!” You don’t have to say “Incredibly bad!” Always tell the truth, but know when to shut up. So businsess is incredible! Everything is looking up! It’s great to be in business! Business is great! People are wonderful !”
I took his lesson to heart, and although he fired me, I became the number one salesperson in the country for my next employer, a company with over 400 offices, coast to coast. Things were looking up ! Buinsess was great ! And people are wonderful !
5. You need an ascension plan, but.. .
Any reasonable plan needs both a goal and a time line, and you need to respect career paths.
Always be honest, get ready with documentation and be really comfortable and confident.
6. Always make your boss look good
Do not be the source of surprises. .. hahha this one I will never do well, I always surprise even myself. A supervisor near the front lines will tell a subordinate. “Surprise me” or “I don’t care how you do it, just get it done.” But an executive reporting to a senior executive would never get that advice. In the executive suite, being a source of surprises is almost always a bad thing, even if the surprise is positive. For example, suppose you have more revenue than expected, the response at the top is going to be : You should have more accurate projections.
7. Suction – It pays to stand next to superstars
It pays to stand in the shadow of extremely talented people. They create activity and movement, which in turn, create opportunities for advancement. You never want to be the smartest person in the room. You want to work with people who understand you, who appreciate and encourage your ideas, and who can guide and help you develop.
Superstars tend to collect friends, information, and connections as they move through life. Having a superstar as a close colleague gives you access to those people and that information. Superstars have a magnetic field of power around them. They make great guardian angels and benefactors as the petty politickers that inhabit all level of management are afraid of them.
8. Find guardian angels and benefactors
Angels and benefactors are people who believe in you, who watch out for you and have your best interest at heart. The author’s father had a favourite saying : “If you want to sit at home and watch television, nobody is going to complain about you. But if you’re going to do something in this world, someone’s not going to like it.”
Highly successful people always generate some resentment, some friction within an organization. In this famous treatise, Il Principle, the 16th century Italian political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli analyzed the politics of power and decided that it is better to be feared than to be loved. (for a prince at least) He believed that leaders who are loved might get cooperation while times were good, but they could not count on compliance when times got rough. Overall it is neither good to be feared nor beloved, the best management style is to be well- liked.
9. Move – Dannit – and Here’s why
Most careerists differ from regular people is that they wring every chance for advancement out of an employer before they separate from that employer and move on. Pay more attention to your bosses than to your peers. When I start to identify with senior management and not the worker bees, I finally saw who my real constitutency was. The people I needed to impress were not the people working for me, but the people I worked for. You can’t be everyone’s friend.
Keep developing over your career. I have skills now I didn’t even understand existed three or four assignments back. And I ‘m not talking about technical skills. There actually is such a thing as refining your judgement, getting seasoned in a role. There is such a thing as wisdom.
10. Find the right mix of prepared and get lucky
The best way to lobby luck is to be ready for its arrival. Plan your work, and work your plan. Know where you are going. But, you can plan only so much – sometimes things just happen. In fact, people who methodically follow their plans, no matter what, won’t get very far. You don’t become a corporate officer before age 40 by being safe, conservative, methodical and plodding. Whenever you see a 34 year old officer, you know she didn’t get there by sticking to her original plans. Sometimes you have to improvise.
So inspite of all the planning mentioned in the book, let chance play its part. See opportunity and capitalize on it, especially if it comes from an unexpected source.
Cheers… If you want to know more in details, it is best you get the book and start reading ! You can check out his website at http://www.donaldasher.com/ for more information.