Key Contributing Factors in Career Success

Men have raised various factors that impact on their career success. I conducted research with corporate executives, consultants and SME owners a few years back. Here are some of the main findings on what influenced their career success.


Integrity: Some common factors that play a critical role in their career success and achievements include:  a strong work ethic, reliability and trustworthiness. Half of the group rated personal and business integrity as crucial to their credibility.

Loyalty: Several corporate men highlight dedication, loyalty and a strong allegiance to the companies for whom they work as key contributors.

Expertise: Numerous men mentioned that experience and expertise in their field and being goal driven contributed to their success.

Taking a stand: One executive feels that his ability to assert himself and express an opinion on issues, contributed to his progress.

Another executive mentioned he is frank with people, gets things done and is a bit of a maverick by pursuing his own way of doing things. He is unafraid to do what he believes in based on his experience. Where he is unclear on what decision to take he is quite comfortable to consult with others. After that he figures out what he wants to do next. All of these factors contribute toward his career success.

Relationships: The ability to get on well with people is seen as a key factor in determining career success. Together with this is having and displaying emotional intelligence. Several men feel you need to show empathy and listen well to others.

A corporate executive describes himself as streetwise, having good people knowledge and being adaptable. Networking comes naturally to him: he gets on very well with people at all levels. Because people are important to him, he is often able to get support from others through his good relationship with them.

Qualifications: Having good qualifications makes it easier to progress faster. In fact one retired MD said he wishes he made an effort to study when he was young. He feels this would have made a major difference to the rate at which he progressed.

Service: Small business owners comment that they put in more effort than is expected and give clients very good value for money. They pride themselves on the quality of their work.

Manage expectations: One executive likes to be very clear on his mandate i.e. what is expected of him. Then he is focussed and disciplined to deliver accordingly. Another senior executive says that he chooses his battles well: he is pragmatic and determines how things will affect his career before taking action.

A retired MD says it is crucial to always communicate with your seniors about what you are doing. Furthermore he feels you need to clarify what is expected of you at the next level. In this way you can develop yourself to progress toward that.

Lack of ego: A senior corporate executive feels he is too humble because he is not driven by his ego to achieve career success. He is motivated more by how he personally feels he measures up. Personal and external recognition is less important. As a result he does not challenge people who take recognition that is due to his efforts. He feels it is about the broader context and what is best for the business.

Reputation: Another individual left a company because he was unable to relate to the way in which the company did business. As a result he was concerned for his reputation.

Another senior manager left a company because he did not like the culture of the company. The leadership had an exclusive and autocratic management style. Consequently he felt he did not fit and chose to leave.

If you would like to explore some of these aspects to achieve your own career success, you may want to consider individual coaching.


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Posted in Business, Personal development.