The more success we experience in our careers, the harder it is to advance to the next level. This notion is not new, but much of what is being done to circumvent this global conundrum is innovative.

Surveys, published documents by recognized authorities, a network of subject matter experts, and our own work with clients lead us to agree that the following are critical contributing factors to this phenomenon:

  • The skill set that was developed in our first job, and for that matter our last job, is most likely not the skill set that is central to the new position.
  • Expectations are greater as we move up the ladder, yet are often not as clear as they once were.
  • As we move up, fewer company mentors are available; often, only internal competition surrounds us.
  • Fear of exposure prevents us from frequent learning opportunities that had been readily available in past positions.
  • Management has been thinned out for decades, and formal training is at a premium.
  • Policy leadership, visioning, planning, emotional intelligence, mastery of communication styles, and macro socio-economic awareness are essential tools for success.
  • Personal involvement with family and other interests begins to take a back seat to a career that requires more attention and that has grown in complexity.