If you want to get ahead at work, raise your hand! Climb that corporate ladder, get recognized and land that cushy corner office.
We checked in with Brendan Reid, author of the new book Stealing the Corner Office, for unconventional ways to get ahead.
1. Never be passionate about your ideas. Wait, what? Let’s hear him out…yes, we’re drawn to icons like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg for their passion and perseverance. And yes, for one Zuckerberg, there are hundreds upon hundreds of people who tried and failed.
He explains, “In my experience a reputation for objectivity is much more useful than a reputation for passion. The only sure fire way to do that is to commit to providing very objective alternatives in every scenario rather than to drive at any one agenda or idea.” Remember, as juicy as your ideas may seem to you, “you” are irrelevant. He suggests helping your company evaluate ideas objectively; avoid passionate pursuits.
2. Avoid the farce of results orientation. Reid has examined incompetent executives and knows that it’s much more productive to broaden skill sets than to focus on short-term objectives. The issue? Managers need to separate their own objectives like career advancement from the company’s objective of achieving performance results.
He explains to MJD:
“Your career is much better served in the long run by expanding your expertise than by reliably delivering short term results for the organization. When you consider the average manager today will have 10 or more jobs in his or her lifetime your priorities need to change accordingly. Expertise travels well from company to company, results don’t – nobody will care that you did 104% of your target in Q1 of 2012 five years from now – and the difference between 104% and 100% will be completely irrelevant.”
3. Don’t Hold People Accountable. According to Reid, this is one principle we have allowed to spiral out of control. “In my experience, there is much more to be gained by being seen as a mentor than as a task master. In practice people gravitate to, hire and promote individuals they like to be around, not people who demand accountability.”
Plus, he says acts of mentorship build an image of leadership, thereby making people “want to work with and for you.”