Don't get stuck in a 'right hand' role
I've heard many a top executive say they couldn't accomplish what they do without their “right-hand man.”
Management consultant John Beeson says being pegged as a great No. 2 is the “first lieutenant syndrome.” You carry out orders, but the general gets credit as the visionary and strategist.
If you want to rise in the ranks, Beeson advises you to find ways to showcase your own strategic abilities.
A boss who supports your goals may help design a role for you to show upper management or customers that you have the vision to lead.
Without that help, you “may need to move on to another part of the company to avoid being overshadowed” by your boss, Beeson says.
Here's a vital step: Be self-aware enough to know if you truly have strategic gears to engage. Some people don't.
Your excellence at carrying out details may be why you're in the position you hold. And there's no dishonor in staying.
Still want to move up?
Start by delegating some of your responsibilities to others, Beeson says.
Next, get out of the office. Attend industry events. Meet customers.
Most important: Think ahead. Someone forms the plans you've spent your career implementing. Now you need to create the plan. What's around the corner? What are your competitors doing? What do your customers want?
“And realize that conveying a vision to the organization is both the strategic concept and a communication task,” Beeson says.
You need to prove that you're an idea guy, a facilitator and a motivator. Beeson says that means making others “confident you have the ability to generate a winning strategy for the organization.”
Diane Stafford is the careers columnist at The Kansas City Star; firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.