Linda ran marketing for a midsize online retailer and was thriving: her team had helped drive six straight quarters of growth, and she was praised by sales for her strong partnership and performance. Linda was also a member of the company’s customer council and well respected by the CEO and other managers.

But she felt stuck in second gear. Her ideas for more innovation were politely listened to in executive meetings, but never seemed to go any-where—“Yeah, interesting concept, Linda, but way too blue-sky right now.” She raised her hand for bigger jobs in her company, but repeatedly lost out to more experienced outsiders. She wanted ...

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