An up-and-coming executive engages with an important sales prospect, client, supplier, partner, or colleague on par with his or her degree of comfort and security with the other party. The more seniority the other is perceived to have relative to his/her own, the more anxiety and insecurity is induced, the less is said, and the less impact results from the interaction. Pushing to the highest possible level of engagement drives the best results and accelerates career progression.
It makes sense for the up-and-coming executive to think of it as climbing a staircase. The first step is the most basic level of engagement, is easy enough to do, but adds little-to-no value. Each step is easier than otherwise when it builds off of the last but is progressively more difficult and riskier to take. Continue reading How emerging executives can achieve high-impact with key players more senior than themselves.