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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Climbing The Corporate Ladder - The Secret To Enjoying The Journey

Posted by patrick

By Steve Sheeren

It is extremely challenging in corporate America to climb to the top of the ladder of success. Really, how many people can fit on that top rung?? A frighteningly small number of positions that are wanted by a frighteningly large group of people. Clearly the higher one moves up the ladder, the more difficult it gets. Yet the messages constantly being communicated to us include "do whatever it takes to win", "winners never quit" and "beat out the competition". That puts tremendous pressured to move forward, move up and achieve those corporate goals. What is the reward when you do hit those goals ( which most likely were set for you by someone else )? "Stretch" goals for the next month/quarter/year! The fortunate few might get a promotion, though often that means even more pressure to achieve.

So how is YOUR climb going? Find yourself muttering any of the following?

"When I get promoted, THEN I will happier"

"Once I get that bump in salary, THEN I can spend more time with family and friends"

"If my team's goals get met, THEN I will be a lot easier to be around"

"When I am in charge, THEN things will be a lot different"

If you said "yes" to any of the statements above, ask yourself this: Really?

Won't there just be ever higher goals to achieve? Yet another promotion or raise to get? More stretch goals for you and your team? With all of that pressure, how CAN one enjoy the climb up the corporate ladder of success? The secret is deciding where we place our focus. Since we cannot control what other people do or say and the vast majority of the circumstances we find ourselves in, we are left with how we react to it. Simply put, our attitude. That doesn't mean "don't worry, be happy" all the time. ( Sorry if that song is now stuck in your mind ) Our attitude will drive how we act, and if our focus is always on goals that have not yet been met or a promotion that we have not received, it will be mighty difficult to react positively in most any situation. So take the time to "enjoy the scenery" on your climb by gaining a little perspective. Take time to focus on what you DO have and what you HAVE accomplished. It is just this perpective that will provide a more positive attitude and a greater appreciation for your climb. If you are feeling challenged in finding things to be grateful for, here is a bit of perspective for you:

* You are literate if you are reading this. 1 of 5 people on the planet over 15 years of age cannot read or write.

* If you are reading this, you have your sense of sight. Forty million people do not have their sense of sight.

* If you are reading this, you have access to a computer. There are 5 BILLION people who have no access to the internet.

* If you are reading this, you have some "free time" that is not being spent trying to figure out where your next meal will come from. There are 800 MILLION people on the planet suffering from hunger and malnutrition.

With a bit of practice, you will discover it becomes easier to find things in your life for which you are grateful. Focusing on and appreciating what you have, and have accomplished, will shift how you feel about your journey. Your attitude WILL be positively impacted and that positive shift in attitude will result in positive change. Side note: do not be surprised when the people around you notice this change as well. And if you truly cannot find enough things to appreciate on your climb up the corporate ladder of success, maybe its time to step off the ladder and discover a different path.

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