Successful leaders play well with others

Ever asked yourself if there's anything else you can do to get a promotion? Leadership coach John M McKee shares some insights and one of his PowerTools to help you move forward in your career. His advice may surprise you.

Have you noticed that a lot people get promoted despite their lack of technical skills? This stuff happens all the time. In virtually every organization.  Right across the world.

Is it simply due to politics?  Or is there something else at play?

It's something else.

After 30 years in various sectors, I've seen clearly that promotional paths have a lot to do with those individuals taking the time to develop technical insight and skills in disciplines beyond what the job calls for.  Early on, for whatever reason, these individuals realized that:

  1. All businesses are "people" businesses; regardless of what they make/sell/produce.
  2. Those who "get it" (whatever that means in the particular organization) get promoted faster.
  3. Certain people are more respected / admired / liked than the rest - even if they're kind of "failures."
  4. It’s better to be happy than cranky.

So they did what made sense: In the same way that they would get out the new product guide or spec sheets to learn how to manage / create a new service or program, they set about studying how to become more successful in their dealings with people in the organization.

And that doesn't mean just sucking-up to the boss.  The really successful careerists figured out that they need to have better (i.e., better functioning) relationships with people at all levels -- above, below, beside them.

I believe that anybody can change their stripes, grow and flourish -- even in a difficult environment. I'm just as certain that the person who states, "I am who I am," and resists taking the steps to grow and evolve beyond where they are today - is doomed. They'll be cranky, earn less money, and probably have sleep problems.

It's all about: You, Version 2.0 - Are you inclined to think of yourself as a work in progress, always evolving to being able compete in a competitive environment? If so, a great place to start is with a review of Transactional Analysis (TA).

Developed by the Canadian psychologist Eric Berne, a guy who really got the concept of intuition, TA is a concept that works effectively. It's applicable in business, personal, and family situations, even for those of us considered to be nerds. Here is a PowerTool I give to clients; it will provide you more insight.

Here's to your future,


Leadership Coach

By John McKee

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...