Getting That Big Promotion
Hiring senior executives from within the enterprise is an art that few companies have truly mastered. Even at companies committed to talent development, aspirants to top management often find career guidance that is vague and contradictory. In such an environment, those employees who figure out the unspoken pathways to success are the ones who end up with the most senior-level roles, says an upcoming book, "The Unwritten Rules: The 6 Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level" by John Beeson (Jossey-Bass, October 2010). Beeson, a consultant and a former top executive at Harbridge House, Frito-Lay and Hallmark Cards, says the inadequate development system imposes real costs on both employers and would-be executives. Yet familiar career-development tools like annual performance reviews focus too much on the present and the immediate past to offer helpful blueprints for future advancement. That leaves some promising candidates in a holding pattern and pushes others out the door.