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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Jump-Start Your Career with these Two Things

Over the years, I’ve noticed again and again two qualities that stand out to senior management when they’re considering whether to promote someone. I’ve also noticed that demonstrating both qualities impresses decision-makers even more. If you can develop these two qualities, it could catalyze your career advancement:

1.  Be Farsighted: Especially these days, with things changing faster than ever before, organizations need people who can think ahead in ways that benefit the organization. In my research, I’ve found this is one of the six characteristics that make leaders “followable” – that is, that elicit productivity and loyalty from followers. If you can demonstrate this characteristic even before you’re formally leading others, it serves as a powerful indicator of your leadership capability. Here’s what being farsighted looks like:

• See possible futures that are good for the enterprise

• Articulate your vision in a compelling and inclusive way

• Model your vision

• See past obstacles

• Invite others to participate in the vision

You might read this list and think that you can’t do these things unless you have a group to lead. But I beg to differ – you can start behaving in these ways within the framework of your very first job. And if you do, your boss and others in management will start to think of you as a leader-in-training.

Read: 10 Networking Mistakes You Need to Avoid in Your Career 
You need a Career Boost in 2016? Here are 10 Simple Resolutions You Need to Make 

2.  Do Your Job Wonderfully: Being able to look ahead in this way, see how something could be better, and then work with others to make it happen – being farsighted – is half of being seen as promotable. Consistently doing a great job at your job is the other half. If the assistant in my example had envisioned and found the better venue – but hadn’t taken care of all the other off-site details for which she was responsible… well, let’s just say her boss would have been much less impressed.

This is what doing your job wonderfully looks like:

Keep Your Agreements — Do What You Say You’ll Do: Period. And If it’s simply not possible to keep an agreement, let those affected — especially your boss — know as soon as possible, and say what you’ll do instead. If your boss knows that you will always do what you commit to do, and do it well, without prompting or needing a lot of oversight – you will be seen as someone to keep and grow.

Be Responsive To Feedback: Listen, make sure you understand, find out what needs to be done differently, and do it – don’t blame, complain, or make excuses.

Manage Your Own Growth: Discover and take the steps you need to develop – don’t expect your boss or HR to do it for you. If you’re fortunate, they’ll support and encourage your growth – but they shouldn’t have to be in charge of it.

Be A Good Company Citizen: Build positive, productive relationships with those around you – nobody likes a prima donna, and making it harder for others to do their job by virtue of how you’re doing yours is pretty much the kiss of death in terms of promotability.

As I’ve been wandering around companies of all sizes over the past few decades, and as I’ve worked with my business partner to grow our own company, I’ve seen these two approaches rewarded again and again – with more responsibility and influence, better compensation, more challenging work. If you can develop your skills of being farsighted while doing your current job really well, you’re much more likely to have a career that evolves rather than one that gets stuck in neutral.


  1. Its good for someone to be farsighted and have a realistic positive plan for the company, this will make other employees and the employer like that person


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