Ravi Speaks:



Career Ladder.

Fully agree with Kate Morgan saying, “We're constantly taught the recipe for getting ahead is to put our heads down and outwork everyone else. But that's not quite right.”


We were taught right from the beginning in our school that if we worked hard and sincerely, we would achieve greater heights in our lives ahead. But after spending the almost major portion of my life hitting at sixty-plus I fully realise that it is not only hard work and sincerity-which pays-one needs to be a tactical politician or what they call in a private organisational wording-“A Sycophant”.


‘Yes-Boss’ You are ‘right’. Contradiction or even a fractional criticism or expressing your non-agreement to some proposal by your higher up means you are going to be at least not benefit. You might try your utmost to come into the good eyes of your superior but if you are hard-working and sincere but expressive of your thoughts-which may not be in line with your superior-Boss I am sorry -Your career would be under the radar and may prove detrimental if you never mended your ways. So it would be better if you adopted the calm and flattery way of saying even blindly –“Yes-Boss”.

Sycophancy at its peak

Sometime back in July or August- an English writer had twittered a very unexpected thought-which evoked the reaction of millions and that had gone viral. On Twitter, she wrote: “How old were you when you realised your original plan of being nice, working hard, & taking on much more than you should in the hope you would be automatically rewarded for this without asking, was shit?” of course a terrible language used but don’t you think she was right. This is exactly what I have been trying to emphasise.

Hard Work Is Not Enough: -

So saying what should be the additional quality of a person nowadays- he should be adaptable and liked by the surrounding people. It may or may not be hard work. But yes, he has got to be what they call in the local language “A Cha aloo”. Which, according to me does not mean any cheap word at all. This magical word means a go-getter and an expert who knows how to politick his way to go on to the top.

Yes Boss Depiction

So, despite adages and advice that tell people from a young age -hard work will get you everywhere, it really won’t, says Jeff Shannon, an executive coach and author of ‘Hard Work is Not Enough’: [The Surprising Truth About Being Believable at Work]. He believes “hard work is a good start”, and early in your career, it can certainly help you establish yourself in a job. He further explains in his book- But it’s not enough to take you to the top. “At a certain point you look around and realise, wow, everyone works hard at this level. Expertise and hard work just become the expectation, and will not help you up the ladder.”

In 1996, when I got my first promotion to the post of Regional Manager based at Amritsar HQ, I felt very satisfied and thought that it might be the beginning of yet another chapter of accomplishments for me in my career. I put in the hardest possible labour and tried my best to keep the immediate boss also thrilled with my work. I had a great expectation from my SM that he would after seeing my achievements as a responsible manager would surely transfer me back to Delhi where the rest of the family was. The fact was that in Delhi also there was a vacancy for the RM’s post. I thought that I had already spent a long tenure in Delhi-I would be the most suitable choice for the organisation.

Hard Labour Or No Hard Labour-Blessings Do The Trick.

Now, look at the happenings with me which simply proved the above point of discussion. After almost three years of my being serving as a forced bachelor-when I discussed the matter with my SM-he simply gave me the story of a new man who according to him was not that competent he was given the promotion there in Delhi to fill up the vacant post. Where was that hard labour or sincerity which helped me in getting what seemed to be most suitable even for the organisation? The only shortcoming which I realised later was my not being an expert in a role of a sycophant. I did not do “Yes-Boss”. I did not agree with him on certain fronts-which was my immaturity and I realised it very late.


Yes, it’s unfair the system doesn’t simply value hard work flat out–but it’s an important reality for workers to grapple with, especially if they’re struggling to climb the ladder or even getting their work through. To get ahead, you need to be doing more than just your job. Realisations like watching colleagues with similar or even lesser abilities soar, while your career stagnates are not something unusual. More often than not, those who rise are the ones willing to politick their way to the top, while you were too busy just working hard to notice that you ensured sincerity and productivity in your performance.


Hard work doesn’t matter much if no one recognises you’re doing it. To translate that effort into promotions and advancement, especially in a changing world of work, make people notice it and force them to decorate you appropriately.

So the actual experts say- “one thing that can people who do good work and nothing else is that they’re under the radar. So, when there’s an opportunity for promotion, nobody thinks of them. They’re just forgotten, in a benign sort of way.”

To climb the ladder, it’s necessary to be not just

 a great worker, but a bit of a manipulator: -

So, how do you overcome this adage? The solution for all is to draw attention to your endeavours without waiting for something as infrequent as a yearly review or performance or self-assessment.
“What happens in a lot of companies and organisations is that you wait until the very end of the year when you do the yearly assessments. “But you just can’t wait a year.”

Hard Labour + The Art Of Managing Up = Climbing Up The Ladder. 

One must be very expressive to the boss. He should be more frequent in updating and being sure to put accomplishments in context. The expression should be explicit -which could be just a quick email with some bullet points [ such as “here are my pluses, and here’s what the resultant sale has happened for the company].

Self-Framing is important at the same time. A boss may find it odd to get an unsolicited update singing your praises. But it’ll go over better in the actual sense since such a self-acclaim would keep even higher-ups in the loop. Now is the time when one should be an expert in blowing his own trumpet at the right moment so that he captures the attention, as well as the mileage, out of such an act.

Be Politicking: -

Yet in most offices and industries, proven ability alone isn’t enough to help you get ahead, because you also need to be likeable and memorable. “If you want to have impact and influence, people need to trust and believe in you.” You need to be a man the leadership qualities. In reality, the two people may have put in the best of their efforts and the results too may be similar but the one who has done the politicking in getting closer to his colleagues and people around and becoming that way a popular character is surely going to have the advantage in his career prospects. After all, a boss evaluating the overall performance is doing his job purely on these patterns and he would automatically be attracted towards the one expressing his leadership qualities and even his popularity chart amongst his people around.

In a nutshell, if I say that one has to be manipulative in expressing his caring and leadership qualities more than the hard work and sincerity-he would surely assure a brighter career ahead.

So I would like to conclude by saying to all my younger brothers and sisters who are working hard and getting results to develop this knack of additional politicking and be self-expressive at the right time. Only then you can put the words in the mouth of the top management and force them to act following your enforcements towards them so that they are induced to act in your favour.

After all, it is only you who have to carve and care for your better rise in the career. If you will not do it anybody is going to help you out.


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