Stir the conversation
Stir the conversation
Tuesday, July 4 | 2017

You Can’t Climb The Corporate Ladder Without First Moving Your Feet

Source : Forbes

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Shutterstock

When I worked in an office, you’d rarely see me spend an entire day at my desk. More often, you’d find me in other departments, working face-to-face with employees, managers and decision makers. I’d spend less time waiting on responses to emails and more time calling or getting up to go find answers. I looked for opportunities to spend time with fellow employees or leadership, learning what they did and understanding how or if my department impacted theirs.

During my career, it has always been important for me to know those I worked with so I could appreciate their value. Even if I didn’t need anything from them right away, just knowing what they did helped me have access to future resources I could tap into when the time came.

When people need help, they first reach out to people they know, even when they’re not sure you know the answer. My former colleagues will tell you they’d often call me for help, not because I always knew the answer, but because they knew I’d find out. That made me a valuable resource.

The best strategy when building your career is to become known as a valuable resource. Without this, it will be challenging for others to see you as a good fit for a leadership position. Promoting into leadership from within is ultimately decided by skill, knowledge and influence. If you have the skill and knowledge but are unable to display influence, it is difficult for others to see you as a leader.

Influence comes by way of moving, getting to know others, appreciating their value and leveraging it to get things done.

If you want to reach new heights in your career, you need to become known as a person who can help others access the resources they need to be able to get their job done. (You can do this in any position!)

“Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.” — Brian Tracy

When the people around you can confirm your value and you’ve gained their respect, it is easier for them to accept you and support you while you’re pursuing career success. Employees are less likely to greet you with resistance as you move up within the workplace when they feel you understand what they do.

Here’s the lesson: Don’t just sit at your desk expecting people to understand and appreciate your value because you were hired, sent a few emails and hold space in the office. If you want to grow within your career, you have to develop relationships with those around you. You need to get up and plant seeds in as many departments within the company as you can, so when opportunities are available, those people will think of you.

Bottom line: You don’t have to “move up” to become influential or gain exposure. Good leaders work from within. They are well-rounded. They understand what it takes to get the job done, can identify quickly who they can gain support from, and understand how those support teams influence the organization as a whole.

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