Access the executive suite to improve career prospects

I’m a big proponent of seeking out and working with mentors to help propel your career. In fact, your path to success may depend on the right mentor. There are many ways to steer your career and benefit from strong leadership.

For example, have you ever thought of becoming an administrative assistant? This is a hidden gem on the career growth ladder. You have to enjoy serving others, but you will have the opportunity see the inner circle of leadership. (The good, the bad and the ugly.) Assistants view all communications and interact with their boss’ closest confidants. Do you imagine sitting in the board room with titans of business? Why wait? Learn the ropes now at the right hand of an executive.

I had this opportunity early in my career and passed it up. Not until years later did I realize what I missed. It was when I found myself sitting just a few steps from the “C” suites and in constant interaction with the senior exec team that I realized how much the administrative team could teach me. They had personal relationships with everyone in the all important little black book. They could get anything done and were often given a fairly high level of accountability and decision making power. But, most importantly, they were vital to the boss’ everyday success. That is the right place to be if you crave mentoring and development from a top executive.

Fortune Magazine recently highlighted a new role in large organizations that provides exposure to the inner-workings of the CEO role. It’s the latest CEO accessory: a chief of staff, which is described as a top-level adviser who’s part confidant, part gatekeeper and part all-around strategic consultant. While that has long been a key position in politics, many top executives are now adding this position to the payroll.

As companies like Goldman Sachs, Aflac and Google further develop the chief of staff role, many opportunities will be created for ambitious, smart thinkers who know how to communicate their ideas.

In good times or bad times, the chief of staff and those who report to the chief of staff will have jobs. They will work on the most strategic projects for the company, often being seen as face of these critical investments and changes. This team will be known for developing ideas and not just managing other people’s ideas. This will make them invaluable.

Look for opportunities to slip into the executive office and learn the inner workings. At first, that may be just offering to help someone working on a project coming out of the corner office. That could be as simple as a charitable event sponsored by an executive. In exchange for your service, you will learn skills that will aid you for the rest of your career.

Good ideas and a great vision are not enough to be successful today. Winners need an authoritative, convincing, articulate presentation. Fast Track Tools offers resources to help. After completing the Communicate to Win workshop, you will know how to outline your plan and how to get where you really need to go. With this complete package, you gain the tools necessary to guarantee that you have the best ideas and that you can present them confidently so you will WIN.

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Photo by KTylerConk

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