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Everyone’s career journey is different and how each person measures his or her own success is unique. But once you find yourself “there,” the place you dreamed of achieving, you may find that staying there is a challenge.

No matter how good you are, there is always someone who think he or she could be better. It’s important for you, as a senior leader, to understand who is in the boat with you and who is trying to sink you.

My experience as shown me what to keep in mind:

1 The beginning is not the end. Where you start from is not where you stay for very long. When there are opportunities to do other things, you are the one who determines what you want to do and how high you want to go.

2 Put a lot of effort into making changes and moving. You’ll need tenacity to get up and go. The process is yours – you drive it and manage it. 

3 You’ll need a plan. Keep changing and moving and adjusting. Remember, if you are not moving up, you are staying still. If you find yourself going down, keep moving.

4 People matter. No matter how much you achieve, others have more to contribute and it’s better to make friends than enemies. Don’t turn people off by arrogance. Bring people up with you – remember, people on the ground can bring you down. Be kind. Nurture a strong network.

5 Stay focused on your goals. Not everything is important. Keep in mind there is always something new to learn.

6 Travel light. Maintain your networks and relationships, but always assess the situation to determine whether the people you have fit the open roles.

7 Keep your integrity intact. Never ever risk your character.

8 Network, network, network. Decide the boards and committees where you are comfortable and that offer you value. The more you get out there, the more you learn, which you can bring back to your own organization.

Leading is not easy, but it is rewarding. If you remember where you came from and the people who helped you along the way and treat everyone accordingly, it will go a long way toward solidifying your position.