If you want to earn more money, you’ll need to get a promotion.

This is a 10-part series of “Nuggets” to help lay out a path to a better, higher-paid, job that is better fitted to your competencies. But you’ll notice, you’ll have to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.


When given a task or assignment, or when preparing a directive for others to follow, you may have to adopt a warrior-like mental attitude. Your first thoughts ought to go to a tool and risk check before you start out.

  • Is there “old baggage” you are taking with you that has exhausted its useful life and ought to be thrown out instead of dragged along? That might include such elements as inappropriate or obsolete methods, skills, attitudes…you name it.  If so, ditch it. Old stuff can slow you down or cause you to go off the rails entirely.
  • Do you have the right and effective people, tools, systems or skills required for the new assignments, tasks, activities? If not, then start negotiating to get the right “ducks” lined up in the right way.
  • If you have everything it takes to win at that task, activity, check the “environment” before you set out. Send out your scouts, so to say. Check the business terrain: status of the competition, status of external or internal systems, such as corporate culture, attitudes, internal political opponents, insufficient our outmoded software, anything that will become an obstacle. If the obstacles will doom your project to failure, negotiate early to have your boss remove them. The job of your boss is to facilitate your opportunity to succeed. Put your boss to work. If you nor your boss aren’t able to eliminate the barrier, then document that fact in a politically correct way so as to avoid embarrassing your boss, but in a manner that puts the issue on record.

Wartime wisdom teaches us that if you don’t back the troops with food, water, bullets, and fuel for their vehicles, you can’t win the war and will certainly lose the war. In business, before you march into “battle”, be sure you have a well-trained, motivated army of people capable of fighting the battle, if you are leading others, and the most up-to-date equipment or other tools that will be required.

This gives new meaning to the often-asked question, “Do you have what it takes?” Be sure you do. To drill a hole you need a drill.