Career Advice Career Doctor

Winning the long game


It’s an opportune time at my company to work up the ladder. The big boss is the founder. He’s getting older, and will one day retire and pass the company on to one of his staff. 

For the longest time we thought that person would be the CFO, his first hire over 25 years ago. But earlier this year they had a falling out. The CFO ended up selling his shares back to the company and leaving. This left open the question of who the big boss was going to pick as his successor.

So that’s now created a new energy around the company, as anyone with any seniority tries to win favour with the big boss, or at least set themselves up to be naturally pipped for leadership roles by whoever the next protege is. The big boss has around 10 working years left in him, so I don’t think he’ll be in any rush to pick anyone, especially after he was disappointed by his former favourite.

So even though I’m not a chief officer yet and there are other managers who are higher ranked than me, I think this is still a good chance for me for lay down a solid career track to the top of the company, or at least quite near it. The only question is, how do I stand out against a crowded field?