It’s all too common a scenario. Someone works and lobbies hard to get that plum promotion with greater authority and a juicy paycheque. He (she) gets it, and all of a sudden discovers that the new role also comes with a crushing workload and the need for skills he doesn’t yet possess. He struggles, and begins to lose the respect off his employers and his peers. The tongue-in-cheek reference to this phenomenon is ‘The Peter Principle,’ where ‘an employee rises to his level of incompetence.’ It’s very real. And very avoidable.

Ambition – the desire to do new and better things – is a great attribute. But far too many people fail to back up their ambition with the skills and substance it requires to be successful. If you are looking to grow in your position or organization, it is critical that you have a plan. A basic 100-day plan, like the one detailed in Win at Work – navigate the nasties, get things done and get ahead, is a good start. Begin with your goal, and then create a map. Take the time to learn as much as you can about the position you aspire to. What are the responsibilities, expectations, skills involved? What are the types of issues, challenges and roadblocks people in these positions face? Once you’ve done this, begin developing your skills and knowledge through training, reading etc. NOW you’ll be ready for that promotion.

Success is achievable for anyone who goes about it the right way, so don’t leave it to chance!

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