What's the most effective way to get ahead?
A few years ago, British author John Lees asked that question to a number
of managers, consultants, training specialists and business owners.
Guess what was their number one response?
It wasn't work harder or put in longer hours. It was simply, "be
Employees who have a clear understanding of their employer's needs and
how they are perceived are most likely to get promoted.
Gaining self-awareness doesn't come naturally to most people. It requires
work, discipline and asking yourself the tough questions.
These two ought to be at the top of your list:
1. Am I spending most (if not all) of my time on the things that
matter most to my employer?
2. How am I truly perceived by the decision-makers in my organization?
Take a look at your schedule for this week. Would your department head
or CEO agree with your priorities?
If you're uncertain, try this simple test: circle the items on your calendar
that directly impact or have the potential to impact your company's bottom
line or strategic goals.
According to Lees' research, people with more circles on their calendars
are more likely to get noticed... and promoted.
Focusing on what's most important requires you jettison or delegate the
small stuff. You also may have to learn to say "no."
And what about the next time you encounter a top executive? Will you talk
about the latest movie blockbuster or mention how your team launched a
new product or gained a competitive advantage in the marketplace?
Use these rare opportunities to talk about the "circles" on