Your route to the top: Go from good to great

Don't try to do everything. Ask yourself: 'Where do my strengths lie?' Focusing on one area will help you pinpoint and hone the necessary skills to move up.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Watch and learn. How did those you admire get to where they are now? Ask questions, read professional biographies and track career achievements. Keep note of how they did it and map your own journey.

Make a commitment. Be clear on your desired outcome and set goals that stretch but don't strain. 'Action illusion' is a common procrastination trick - doing anything to justify putting off the task. Remember exam-revision timetables?

Bring your boss on board. Learning new skills, knowledge and capabilities improves your personal prospects and ensures that the business competes more effectively.

Seek out opportunities. Join cross-team projects and get involved with all aspects of your job. Keep your eyes and ears open to everything going.

Make the most of mentors. Over the course of your career, you should put together a range of experts whose knowledge you can dip into. Where possible, arrange face-to-face sessions, e-mail exchanges and even work shadowing.

Surround yourself. Online tutorials, skill exchanges with colleagues, and industry bestsellers are all excellent vehicles for building your knowledge. Take advantage of what's out there.

Get ahead. Try teaching yourself the basics and spend the budget on an advanced course to hone your skills. Time with an expert is better spent learning the harder bits.

Give it a go. Whether in your own time or as your role demands, try to learn on the job. Offer to work in other areas and suggest new tasks that put your dormant skills to use. Don't call in the experts, become one.

- 'The Mind Gym: Give me time' is published by Time Warner Books (£12.99). Contact the firm at

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Leadership lessons from Jürgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager exemplifies ‘the long win’, based not on results but on clarity of...

How to get a grip on stress

Once a zebra escapes the lion's jaws, it goes back to grazing peacefully. There's a...

A leadership thought: Treat your colleagues like customers

One minute briefing: Create a platform where others can see their success, says AVEVA CEO...

The ignominious death of Gordon Gekko

Profit at all costs is a defunct philosophy, and purpose a corporate superpower, argues this...

Gender bias is kept alive by those who think it is dead

Research: Greater representation of women does not automatically lead to equal treatment.

How to be a resilient leader

Louai Al Roumani was CFO of Syria's largest private retail bank when the conflict broke...