Every office has that person who seems to advance no matter the circumstances. They also have that employee that constantly complains about how unappreciated they are, even though they slave away, always taking one for the team. Often there are accusations of favoritism or lack of leadership insight, but this is usually not the case. That person who never seems to hit the glass ceiling has simply learned the art of leadership and communication. They are aware of and practice these five tips for climbing the corporate ladder.
This is the most important art to learn. Everyone knows the person who talks over everyone, trying to show off their vast knowledge, and the general opinion is that they are covering for a lack of it. The phrase, “he strains to hear a whisper who refuses to hear a shout,” comes to mind. Instead, ask questions that show that you are listening to the speaker’s important points and that also show your knowledge of your field. For instance, if you are discussing the possible purchase of a side line of clothing, don’t just speak about sales numbers and current trends; ask about the current market saturation for this particular item and the target consumer, then offer suggestions and listen to theirs. This shows that you understand what is most important about the topic while engaging others in the conversation.
Learn How to Delegate
The person who tries to do everything never gets anything done. Yet there are still those who try to overwhelm themselves with unachievable workloads with the misconception that they will impress their employers. In a healthy company environment, the ability to lead a team and give credit where credit is due is far more valued than a person who works overtime to tackle an insurmountable goal. Give others a chance to shine as well and then praise them. The best CEOs promote those who are able to squeeze the best out of their teammates while getting more done.
Keep Up with Modern Technology
Even technology unrelated to your field is extremely important. Knowing the latest apps, SEO optimization and even how to install pertinent software or reload an operating system can come in handy at the most unexpected times. The goal is to become indispensable in every way. If your business can turn to you for innovative technology solutions for any and every problem, they will hesitate to replace you with someone who cannot, and turn to you first for promotions from within.
Further Your Education
Today’s business world treats a bachelor’s degree like a high school diploma. Employers are seeking people educated in specific areas for their advanced positions. Many schools recognize this trend and are gearing their programs for this. Abilene Christian University for example, doesn’t just offer typical MBA’s. They have an ACU masters in organizational development program geared toward the specific tools, such as conflict resolution and communication that a highly trained leader needs.
Stay in Shape
This is not merely a reference to physical conditioning. A good leader is sound in body, mind and spirit. This requires personal time, which is always in short supply for hard workers. Today’s business environment is so taxing that if one does not care for their emotional well-being, they are likely to become that un-promotable basket case in the back corner cubicle. Find balance. While you’re at it, ditch the cheeseburger for a salad. Top it off with plenty of invigorating physical activity. Your employers will notice that you have your whole life together and feel comfortable giving you more responsibilities.