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Getting to the Top: Strategies for Career Success

Product Description
You’re ambitious and want to progress in your career. Learn career tips and strategies that will enable you to climb to the top of your career ladder. In today’s job market, you’ve encountered a huge, fundamental shift in the corporate world: many companies are no longer routinely grooming employees for senior-level executive positions. Career development is now up to the individual. You must chart your own roadmap for career development in order to be resilient when the job market fluctuates wildly. You have to define your own success and career strategy, and invest time in creating an effective action plan if you’re going to become a VP or CEO. What are the career paths and must-have leadership skills you need to ascend to the ultimate position in your field? Getting to the Top was especially written for employees to take responsibility for their own career success by Silicon Valley executive recruiter Kathryn Ullrich. From thousands of interviews she conducted as an executive recruiter and leader of Getting to the Top® career programs at UCLA Anderson School of Management and Stanford Graduate School of Business, Ullrich has learned and analyzed career path categories for marketing, sales, product and brand management, corporate communications, strategic alliances, business development, and CEOs. In this book, Ullrich shares success stories of executives from companies such as Adobe, Cisco, eBay, and Yahoo!; findings of her groundbreaking career path research; essential skills for career advancement in a career pyramid of skills at the top; and a customizable Career Action Plan that guides readers to career success. You will reach the career success you desire by putting into action the guidelines you’ll learn in Getting to the Top!

Getting to the Top: Strategies for Career Success

5 Responses to “Getting to the Top: Strategies for Career Success”

  1. As an exec coach developing the leadership of both corporate execs and new MBAs, I’ve scanned (and even read!) many guides to career development. I’ve found very few of quality I can actually recommend to clients. This is one, and an especially thorough one. What’s distinctive about this book is it combines the author’s extensive experience with both exec and MBA populations – and the striving masses in between. The is a sober, realistic, practical guide, without being a slog to read. The book includes many quotes and career trajectories from career climbers and success stories. Perfect gift for MBAs, ambitious new hires, and anyone wanting to understand how to move up.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Avid Reader says:

    A readable and insightful guide to career success that fills in the many gaps left by other books. A great mix of practical advice, relevant examples, and big picture career planning that I have found extremely helpful as I reassess my career path and rework my background into a new improved career path. Thanks for such great advice.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. This book is a must read for anyone who aspires to achieve a mid to senior executive position. It also is helpful for senior executives and human resource personnel who want to improve their leadership and better mentor staff for career development. Having worked in an executive capacity in strategy, marketing and business development for many years both in and with large corporations as well as small entrepreneurial companies, I find that this book applies to employees across the gamut.

    Based on more than one-hundred senior executive interviews, plus insights from Kathryn’s extensive expertise as a corporate recruiter and UCLA Anderson Alumni counselor, this book is perhaps the most comprehensive executive career guide of its type in the market. The book contains many tangible examples with resumes and career paths from real-world CEOs and VPs so you can apply this to your own career advancement.

    Getting to the Top is the What Color is Your Parachute for MBAs – or anyone with career ambitions!

    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Getting to the Top is a rich resource for anyone aspiring to become a C level executive of any mid-size to large company.

    The written by and based on the experience of Kathryn Ullrich. She brings a world of hands on, real life experience to this book. In her current position as an executive recruiter in Silicon Valley and as moderator of the Getting to the Top career development programs at Stanford and UCLA, she has first hand experience on what it takes to get to the top.

    The book is divided into four sections. Section one deals with career strategy and success defined. Section two explores the various career paths available for getting to the top. Section three discusses CEOs at the top. Section four goes into detail about the skills needed at the top and section five outlines a career plan for getting to the top.

    Who will benefit from this book? In my opinion, the earlier you are in your career, the more benefit you will derive from this book. If you are looking at retiring in the next few years, you probably will not have enough time left on the job to benefit from the wisdom and advice in this book.

    If you are working in very small companies or government agencies, this book will not be extremely useful to you.

    So who does that leave? In my opinion, the real target audience for this book is the young manager working for mid-size to large companies who is charting a course that will take her/him to the top.

    I found section four to be the most interesting and valuable. Here Ullrich goes into great detail about the skills necessary to be successful. These skills are: Strategic vision, customer perspective, communications, team leadership and distinguishing skills.

    There is some really good advice in section four. If you are looking to rise to the C level, you must be proficient in those skills. You will not arrive at the top by accident. This is a great blueprint and career guide for getting to the top. Read it, study it, implement it and you will be two steps ahead of your peers.

    Rating: 4 / 5

  5. Getting to the Top is most everybody’s dream, and the title of this very useful book that is from Getting to the Top career development programs, a series of seminars and workshops that have been held in Stanford and UCLA business schools since 2006. Each of them had a functional focus: VP Marketing, VP Product Management, VP Sales, VP Bus Dev, VP Strategic Alliances, CEO, COO, General Manager, CIO, CFO.

    There are numerous books related to improving one’s skills in marketing, sales, product management, and basically any of the typical corporate functional areas, and tons of books focusing on leadership and motivation. Yet, there are very few practical guides, if any, that deal with career development itself, and respond to the seemingly simple question: I am a small biz specialist in a mid-sized company today, how will I become one day the CMO of a Fortune 100? This question is at the back of the head of thousands of MBA students, yet, more often than not, they spend exorbitant tuition costs and hardly get any form of response to their simplest existential problem. They are trained, happy to find your first job, and after that, they are pretty much in the wild, haphazardly jumping from one position to another across various companies based on a random variety of criteria: better pay, closer to home, nice boss, trendy area, or whatever. Ten years later, a recruiter looks at their resume, and has the feeling that they have zigzaged through their professional life quite a bit. Or have they? Does what they did reflect a career strategy that they knowingly — or unknowingly — followed? It’s up to each person to make it come across, though. It’s up to each person to convey his/her own credibility.

    Obviously, you can’t know it all and plan it all when you are 25 (that’s often the sign of conventional bores), but as you evolve, you start to have an idea of what you ultimately want to be at down the road. So sit down, and go through the personal assessment that will enable you to identify the guidelines that traverse your career to both leverage your past course and get better control over your future. However, this doesn’t mean that you should remain deaf to unexpected opportunities. While it’s true, as acknowledged early on in the book, that the vast majority of people now get their jobs through their network, and that not all hiring decisions are not based on requisite skills or experiences, it’s also true that zero sales and marketing experience will be a problem if you apply for a position as VP of Channels and Strategic Alliances or that a total of lack engineering skills are likely to make you a mediocre VP of Product Management. You’ll get on the nerves of engineers in no time!

    The particular interest of this book is to lay down typical career paths in a no fancy way, with real examples of real people. The purpose is not to establish normative criteria and tell you Here Is What You Must Do, but to honestly provide you with typical career paths through true-to-life examples to help you plot your own course and assess where you are at any given point. Stop wondering about what it takes to become a VP: be aware of the definition of the role, check if you have the crafts usually expected in that role, if you have the tactical and strategic skills that are expected and the type of experience that will enable you to succeed. This book will save you a lot of time – as well as spare you from disappointing interviews. Yes you can be lucky and land a job above your actual qualifications, but guess what! You may also be miserable (or ridiculously unfit for the task and suffer from it). Frankly, how good of a CEO will you be if you have no strategic perspective, if you don’t give a damn about what customers think, if you hate to communicate or respond to the (sometimes petty) concerns of your direct reports? In other words – if you have no leadership. Nobody is entitled to anything, but success is within your reach if you are realistic. So look at the stars but keep your feet on the ground! Your career development is not only your responsibility, and rising to the top means understanding your goals, developing, and sticking to a career strategy, even as it evolves.
    Rating: 4 / 5