My Pathway to President – What I Learned Along The Way

There was no master plan, nor great family contacts.  I was one of those late bloomers.  I was also lucky… at the right place, right time, and right people who wanted to help me.  They saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself at the time.

As I worked up the corporate ladder to Vice President and then created a consulting company, I’ve compressed below what I learned along the way and what other successful business people have told me were the keys to their success.  Hope they’re helpful to you:

  1. Hard-skills are the technical, professional or physical things that you know or do.
  2. Soft-skills are the interrelationship skills that you accomplish with or through others
  3. Hard-skills get you the initial job, but you need to be excellent at whatever you do. Set your goal to be a master performer in your field.  Contribute something others can’t.
  4. Acquire a core competency (a must have) then transfer those competencies to others
  5. Soft-skills get you to the higher levels of the organization.  Learn and practice them.
  6. Somewhere in the middle you need both hard and soft skills, equally strong and positive
  7. Help others achieve success to reach their goals (could be as a supervisor or group leader), then they in turn will help you move up your success ladder
  8. The higher you go the better communicator you need to be.  An influencer can get key points across in a convincing way within a short attention span of the listeners
  9. The mini-pitch is critical:  Describe the issues to be solved, the action taken (with the alternatives considered) plus the desired outcome, all within about 30 seconds.
  10. Create a visual, but not necessarily on paper or a slide:  A visual is a verbal picture that the listener can visualize, which is tailored to effectively resonate within them
  11. Show enthusiasm or passion.  If you believe in your subject, others might believe in you
  12. Be excellent, but not necessarily perfect.  Perfection shuts down discussion.  Always leave a way for others to engage and contribute.
  13. Use the inclusive “we” rather than the exclusive “I”.  Be seen as a leader within a team.
  14. If you can’t grow and/or contribute within your current organization, find somewhere else where you can grow and contribute.  If not, your career momentum shuts down.
  15. As a Manager, develop a reputation for integrity, honesty and quality performance
  16. As a Department Head or Director, be active to find creative solutions to problems in your area of responsibility.  Find answers that others haven’t thought of.
  17. As a V.P., help the organization achieve its objectives in a leading way.  Be a resource with and for others to advance the organization.
  18. Judgment – when it’s all said and done, this is what an organization is seeking from you.  Create a philosophy that asks “What’s in the best interests of the organization/ customer/ stakeholder/employees?”.  That will get you the furthest and fastest up the organization.

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By My Greener Future

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