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The Corporate Ladder Re-defined with Susan MacKenty Brady

January 4, 2012

I don’t agree with the “climb the corporate ladder” metaphor. It (wrongly) gives the impression that there is one ladder and you either go up, down, or stay where you are. If I had to paint a different picture, I’d envision platforms where one can stand and they are at varied levels. Over the course of my career, I have had a variety of responsibilities (ranging from managing lots of people to managing only myself, ranging from managing multiple projects simultaneously to managing just a few, ranging from managing multiple P&L’s to managing a sales goal). While all of these jobs (and the corresponding titles) may have changed over time, the one thing that I can point to as the common denominator to my “success” (if that’s what you call it) is hard work.

I have learned to “work smarter” (kids will do that to you!) but I put in the time. I’ll tell you what I look for when I hire talent: I have yet to see a better combination to predict success than 1) drive, 2) smarts, and 3) a high level of caring for people/ability to manage relationships/a good attitude. Number three is what I refer to as “Relational Intelligence.” It’s the most difficult to train–and I try to scan for it in a first interview. You can learn everything else if you have those three qualities.

My mentors have taught me so much. I have learned from them and they have modeled the good treatment of others in the workplace. I still believe that nothing will impact my legacy more than if I am able to drive results with and through others while at the same time treating others respectfully.

About Susan MacKenty Brady:

Susan is an expert in driving revenue for organizations through the implementation and execution of strategic business development and marketing activities. She is an engaging speaker, coach and teacher, and has deep experience working with executives in a variety of contexts. Prior to re-joining Linkage as Senior Vice President, Susan worked with Mobius Executive Leadership, a premier leadership development consultancy and spinoff of the Harvard Negotiation Project where she coached executives, and led strategic marketing and business development activities.



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