Hesta’s CEO Debby Blakey shared her top “4 Keys To Get To The Top of The Corporate Ladder” at an Executive Women Australia MasterClass event last week. Whatever your career aspirations are, these insights and self-reflective questions will help optimise your performance and leadership along the way.
1. Know how to self-lead
Leadership starts with self-leadership. Take time as a ritual to ask yourself:
- How well can I lead myself?
- What kind of leader am I being for my team right now?
You can have a happy go lucky attitude toward your career or you can proactively plan and create a career you want. Some great careers happen by chance; but don’t bet that’s yours. Take responsibility for creating a career path so you know where you’re going.
2. Support those around you – especially your boss
Supporting those around you to succeed – your team, peers, colleagues and boss – will help you succeed. Leaders are imperfect too – and your boss may not be as resilient as you think. Find a way to demonstrate you have their back, and chances are, you’ll realise your boss has yours too. Ask yourself:
- What does my leader need of me right now?
- What areas could I support my boss in that he/she would value
3. Build influence and unpack your ‘why’
Having influence is key to achieving together.
Know what you’re passionate about and know your ‘why’ for doing what you do. You may be clear on what you do, however you may be less clear on why you do it. Remember there are no right answers – only your truth.
- For what purpose are you in the role you are in – what is it giving you and why does that matter?
4. Be innovative and have a vision
Be present to the opportunities in your role. Innovation isn’t so much about ‘taking risks’ rather than a focus on creating positive change – appreciating that some change will go well and some will not. When things go well – celebrate. And when things don’t go to plan – pull together, recalibrate and try something else. You may choose to accept a role you later regret. Chances are, not every role you have will be the right one for you – accept it, take responsibility for it, and make the decision to stay or go. Your career is not a race – it’s a journey packed with learning. Focus on the learning about you, rather than the rights and wrongs of decisions you’ve made. Don’t play the blame game.
We often know our organisation’s vision and equally important is having a personal one. Be clear on where you’re heading. Ask yourself:
- What is my personal vision?
- What challenges am I choosing right now? Am I choosing challenges that will help get me to where I want to go?
Above all, be grateful for every opportunity you have. Appreciate the journey that others before you have travelled to create the type of career opportunities you can now enjoy. On the corporate ladder, create an environment and space for people behind you that will encourage and inspire them to be their best.
In conclusion, Debbie’s focus on others (and helping others achieve their dreams) has been the central key in her achieving her own career dream of getting to the top.
What are you going to put in place or start doing that’s going accelerate your career path and what you want to achieve in your career?