Why You Should Not Climb The Corporate Ladder
The implications of this study are powerful for two reasons. First, if you feel like you’re just spinning your wheels and you’re not getting traction, then this study brings a little hope. Maybe it’s okay. Instead of worrying about climbing up the ladder of your silo, focus on building a diverse social network as you find that thing that you want to climb up in.
Second, the study implies that all of us need to be thinking about how we can be a little bit more of a misfit. Even if we’re steady on this path of climbing the corporate ladder and moving up rung by rung, we still need to be doing things that get me a more diverse social network inside the organization. We need to ask peers in other departments for coffee. We need to drop in on meetings for departments that we’re not responsible for and see if we can learn a thing or two—or meet a new person or two. We need to develop a social network that is wide across the organization because we’ll need it down the road. We also know that those with more diverse networks generate more innovative ideas.
The organizational misfits become the organizational leaders. So we all need to be a little more misfit.