Climbing the corporate ladder from entry level employee to CEO requires more than technical expertise and hard work. How you deal with the day-to-day pressures of your job will determine whether you will make it to the corner office or get stuck in the corner cubicle. As you plot your path to success, consider how the following 7 personality traits may be holding you back.

1) Having a negative outlook. Pessimism will get you side-tracked early in your career. Rather than voice your negative thoughts when things are coming apart at the seams, assume you will be successful and plow ahead. Prioritize your resources and put your plan into action. A poorly conceived plan with great execution is far better than a great plan with poor execution.

2) Focusing on the past. Unless you are a historian, don’t focus on your company’s past mistakes or missed opportunities. There is nothing worse for a manager than listening to an employee who continually says, “I told you so.” Mistakes are learning opportunities, not opportunities to flog company executives for things that can no longer be changed.

3) Being a perfectionist. The old adage, “If you want something done right, you should do it yourself,” doesn’t apply to anyone who wants a future in management. Doing it yourself just means you don’t have the ability to leverage your skills. Unless you want to become a subject matter expert with no management responsibilities, focus on developing your soft skills.

4) Requiring excessive reassurance. While feedback is important to growth, continually asking for reassurance from your manager can make you seem unsure of your abilities. Before you focus on your own personal development, concentrate on adding value to your company. Ask for advice on how to solve business problems. Once you’ve proven your value, you can begin to look for personal development opportunities.

5) Being indecisive. If you want to be a leader, you’ll have to make some tough calls, sometimes without complete information. You won’t always be right. You won’t always be wrong. You can never be both. Leadership involves risk. When the time comes to put yourself on the line, don’t do it halfway. It’s impossible to inspire a following if you have no direction.

6) Being disloyal. If you hate your boss and can’t stand working for your company, quit, because you will never be successful while bashing them to coworkers or competitors. Sooner or later, someone will find out and you will never be trusted with anything important.

7) Being lazy. Being well-liked at a company is helpful, but playing class clown and letting others do the work will mean an end to your leadership ambitions. Class clowns become stand-up comedians, not CEOs. If you’re the first person to jump into a difficult problem and fix it, you will be given other opportunities to succeed. This doesn’t mean you should be a doormat. Working every late shift because no one else wants to will just ensure that you’ll get more late shifts. Concentrate on problems you can fix.

Not everyone can or should aspire to be the CEO of a company. If you are truly happy in the position you have, don’t let anyone convince you that you need to climb the ladder. If, on the other hand, you are the one that steps forward when no one else does, you may be destined for the corner office. While some people have innate leadership skills, most people spend a lifetime perfecting their technique. Start now. Watch the leaders of your company carefully. You will learn far more from watching what they do than listening to what they say. When your time comes, step forward firmly and focus on how you can improve the organization. Your own personal development will come as you develop those around you.

At SCR, we can help you find experienced leaders in the energy sector.  We supply talent throughout the world, whether you need help finding your next CEO or need manpower to make your next project a success SCR can help. Contact us today to learn more!


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