Jeffrey Fox in How to Become CEO makes a recommendation about when to know you won't make it due to circumstances beyond your control.
By "make it" I refer to the road block many of us have hit during our career inside of our place of employment - we just can't seem to make it up the ladder.
I recently explained to a group I was speaking to the reasons this happens.
1) History -
Often, the top executives have a long history together of which you were not part. Your company could be the latest of a long string of companies which has bound these executives together and closes you out of the loop.
2) Proximity -
The top team could have attended the same university or MBA program. Or originally hailed from the same region or city. Either way, you started at the wrong place as far as they are concerned.
3) Cultural -
Like it or not, often times top executive team members have a similar cultural background which bars entrance to all others. Call it what you will, it happens and often by those first to call foul in other arenas.
4) Traumatic effect -
This circumstance is overlooked or ignored. Take a group of top team members who have suffered through a common disaster, say a bankruptcy or layoff. That event has bound them together like passengers of a lifeboat and it could be guiding their entire management philosophy - "Green Banana, Inc. will never make the mistakes that Plump Tomato, Inc. made!". Since you were not part of the original disaster, you can't participate.
5) The Profession Factor -
It could be that everyone in top management has an engineering background or some other nearly impossible achievement which you cannot match despite all efforts. If the resumes all read the same, most likely you won't be asked to play.
Remember, when the gate comes down or your career approaches the local glass ceiling, do not take it the wrong way. Recognize the signs, make sure the doors are entirely closed and make plans to move on. Do yourself the favor.
Until next time, happy hunting!
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