Making Yourself Indispensable

by John H. Zenger, Joseph R. Folkman, and Scott K. Edinger

A MANAGER WE’LL call Tom was a midlevel sales executive at a Fortune 500 company. After a dozen or so years there, he was thriving—he made his numbers, he was well liked, he got consistently positive reviews. He applied for a promotion that would put him in charge of a high-profile worldwide product-alignment initiative, confident that he was the top candidate and that this was the logical next move for him, a seemingly perfect fit for his skills and ambitions. His track record was solid. He’d made no stupid mistakes or career-limiting moves, and he’d had no run-ins with upper management. He was stunned, then, when a colleague with less experience got the ...

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