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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

3 Keys to Navigating the Corporate Ladder

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Recently on the Being Brown at Work podcast I had the pleasure to interview Robyn Marcotte of Aha! Leadership, a leadership consulting firm that helps train leaders that are worth following. She has 20 years of practical leadership experience, has launched two startups, and has successfully coached over 200 leaders to reach their career goals. I met Robyn when I started my current position at Meritor, and we instantly connected. I hope you'll enjoy a selection of wisdom that comes from our conversation on the podcast, and don't forget to check out the show for the full conversation.

The workplace can seem like a daunting minefield sometimes, especially if you’re new to the game, out of your element, or trying to reach that next big milestone. But navigating the corporate landscape doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you use a few key strategies, you can focus your efforts on a few key behaviors that will get you where you want to go– no backstabbing or office politics necessary.

Leap before you’re ready.

Robyn and I both have had the opportunity to take a job in an area we knew little about. In Robyn’s case, she got a chance to work in the operations side of things, in mine I got the chance to move to Germany. Both of us felt under-qualified but ready for the challenge, and these ended up being foundational, pivotal moments in our careers. Leaping before you feel perfectly “ready” is how you make big jumps in your career. Being brave, trying new things, and trusting in yourself is a fantastic way to grow.

Building relationships is everything.

When Robyn took that position in operations, she knew nothing about that side of the business. She entered an entirely different part of the company and had to figure it out as she went. But what she lacked in expertise, she made up for in interpersonal skills. When you’re out of your depth in the hands-on part of the job, you can leverage your relationships to successfully execute the work. While Robyn didn’t immediately understand the operations side of the business, she did know how to connect with people on her team, ask smart questions, give feedback, and delegate to help her get the work done successfully even without the full business picture in front of her.

Being the best won’t get you promoted.

I’ve seen so many professionals who are keeping their heads down, nailing their performance goals, and still not getting tapped for that next level promotion. What Robyn and I both figured out along the way is that being “the best” at your job isn’t what’s required to get to the next level. What we need is people skills, relationships, and a spirit of playing big to make the leap from where we were to where we wanted to be.

Making that leap is hard, but it’s absolutely doable. If you want individualized coaching on your specific situation, let’s talk. Click here to put a one-on-one consultation with me on your calendar, and we can get started.

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