So you want that promotion, and eventually you want that C-suite position, maybe even the CEO’s job?  Contrary to the instant gratification crowd and the belief that somehow you’ll be an executive in a few years and the CEO in ten, becoming a great leader, a respected and effective one with a reputation for achieving results the company expects, repeatedly, takes time.  Some will achieve it faster than others, and you may part of that cadre of leaders, and some will never achieve it, for all kinds of reasons.  

I want to set you up for and increase the probability of your success, which in this case means you getting promoted and moving up the corporate ladder.  This list isn’t exhaustive, but I would say these are the half a dozen, fundamental things you need to do well to get that promotion and begin your ascent.

#1: Be ethical and trustworthy.

Keep your word.  Make commitments and deliver on them, over and over again.  Credibility is key in the workplace and you won’t have any if you can’t keep your commitments.  Tell the truth, be professional and courteous, and follow through for people and the company.

#2: Do your job.

Do your current job, really, really well, and the next one after that, and after that, etc.  Build a reputation for delivering the goods in every role, leaving things better than you found them, and developing new capabilities.

#3: Develop your communications skills.  

Work on developing your written communication skills and your public speaking skills.  Both are important.  And when you do them well, people will take notice.

#4: Strengthen and develop your leadership courage.

I don’t think you can actually move up in an organization without it.  Nothing breeds success like success, so the more you commit and execute, the more confidence you’ll have to up your game next time around.

#5: Develop your competitive advantage.

Develop and hone an area of expertise or two.  Turn them into what you’re known for, your competitive advantage.  When the promotional opportunity opens up, make it easy for the deciders to choose you over your peers and any outside competitors.

#6: Be a collaborative, team player.

You need to play well with others at a minimum, and be seen as an effective team member.  In addition to leading your team well, you must help others and offer support when needed.  Don’t let others, however, stop you from aggressively moving forward with doing your job the best you can.

Check out my podcast on this topic by clicking below.  You’ll get the full color of my frank commentary in pithy fashion!