4 Most Important Ways to Fast Track Your Way Up The Corporate Ladder19 min read

Do you know the 4 Most Important Dynamics to keep yourself Moving Up in Your Company? I know you have your own ways of dealing with your corporate life. The ways that you have picked up along the way knowingly or unknowingly, but still you are reading this article because either you don’t trust your ways or you are seeking approval from others. The reasons could be multiple but one thing is for sure that after finishing this article you will have a better understanding of your own position and the direction you are moving towards. Either you are moving up the ladder or you are going down. You must know in which direction you are moving towards.

In this article, I have talked about the 4 dynamics that every corporate culture incorporates deep within. Simply by mastering this art, you are sure to thrive in a corporate world. Your graph will always be moving up in your company and you will find more and more opportunities at your workplace.

So, What are these 4 dynamics of corporate success?

The Four Dynamics of Corporate Success

The Four Dynamics to keep you moving up in your company

Before I list down the four dynamics, I want you to be very clear that all 4 dynamics holds equivalent importance in corporate success. Lacking in any one dynamic can hinder your overall progress.

Upper management would not like to hear what I’m about to tell you in this article. I will try my best to explain all the four dynamics to the best of my knowledge. Anytime you feel unsatisfied with the explanation or finds that the explanation is incomplete then please do drop a comment below. I’m here to clarify your doubts.

Let’s begin...

#1. Acting

You gotta be really good at this one. After all, you have to pretend that you are doing a lot of important tasks and holds a responsible position. But in reality, you are just playing or jogging in the office premises :/

Harsh Reality 🙁

Do you know the awesome stats that say, only 20% people in your office is responsible for 80% of the overall work. But you will be shocked to know that those 20% people are not the ones who are loved by their managers. They are not the ones who get early promotions. In fact, they have a pretty common lifestyle. Some of the least deserving people often take the cup home. The reason behind is not their hard work but their awesome acting.

How to master the art of Acting?

Wear different masks

You see there are 3 aspects of corporate acting. Anyone looking at you at any point of time must see that hard-working, intelligent and friendly person. You will have to learn these 3 aspects in the best proportion based on your workplace and work culture.

In some place, hard work is given more importance and in some place, intelligence will have more weight. You will have to find out the perfect mixture of these three artists. Let me help you in excelling in all the three.

Act of Hard Work

This one is easy. All you need to do is sit in front of your PC for long hours, long enough to make them notice you. This is my observation experimented on different scenarios of the real world and validated. It came out correct all the time.

So, how are you going to pull this act?

Make yourself look busy in front of others and make it convincing. Show off as if you are doing a lot of tasks and heavily consumed. Try to show your importance in a way it makes sense.

Here are some of the ways I observed in people in my company/circle,

  • Take the credit of someone else’s work. Especially, if you are a reviewer of someone then go ahead and take the credit of his tasks. Take all his credit and leave him empty. This way you will earn value in the eyes of upper management and hatred in the eyes of a reviewee. But hey, who cares about reviewee.
  • Sit for hours in front of your PC’s. Utilize this time to learn what interests you.
  • Visit other people’s desk just to showcase your helping nature. Sit with them and understand what they are doing. Grasp everything patiently and when the time comes, start teaching the same fucking thing back to that person. This will definitely spoil your reputation with him but your work would be noticed by the upper management.
    Another great thing you can do is GO SILENT. Instead of teaching the same stuff back to him, talk about the stuff you just learned with others. This will make you sound smart.
  • Talk big in front of people just to brag about the things you were involved in (not the things that you have actually done). The art of bragging is going to take you a long way.
  • Dancing in front of upper management to make them realize your worth.
  • Give the status updates on behalf of others and make yourself sound smart (take the credit of the things you have not done at all).

Many people go in the wrong direction trying to pull this act 😀 You see, you got to be real when you do this.

Watch out, it might go against you as well…

Sitting in front of pc for long hours is not the only solution, in fact, it can go against you if you fail to justify it. You can very well be categorized as a dumb and slow person who sits in front of his PC for hours and still have brains of a cow. Your long hours of sitting in front of your computer must bring you up as a knowledgeable person.

You gotta act real.

You must actually spend that time in acquiring knowledge about the subjects that interest you. This will definitely increase your knowledge, right?

A true actor is one who makes it real. You gotta make it real. SRK acting as a Navy Officer does not make him a navy officer, but, he makes it so convincing. This is what we are trying to achieve here. And I quote-

“Fake it till you make it.”

You gotta mix and match the above techniques in order to come up convincing and take up the task. I have seen people behave in this way. They try to portrait as if they are doing a lot of tasks and are heavily consumed. Simply by pulling this act off, you can tilt the weight on your side.

Act of Intelligence

Out of box thinking

This act is a little bit difficult than the previous one. It has more to do with your environment and how you comprehend it. According to the definition of intelligence, it is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. This is the most important definition you need to understand. I have added a few words after the sentence. According to me, you must acquire knowledge and skill and then apply them for your own selfish motives.

Remember the thing I said previously in the article that you must visit other people’s desk to showcase your helpful nature. Well, this is how you are going to pull this act.

Visit other people’s desk, talk to them about their project (everyone loves to speak what they have done :p), acquire their skills and knowledge of the project/tool and now teach them back when people are watching.

Make it noticeable…

It should sound like you have taught them the stuff they are doing and not the other way around. By doing this you are accomplishing two things here-

  1. Pulling the actual person down.
  1. Pushing yourself above another person.

This is surely turning you evil in the person’s eye but it makes you sound smart and intelligent in the eyes of other people that matters.

Act of Friendliness

Friends in front and enemy behind

This act is very important to put a blanket on the acts that you did above. You have already taken someone else’s credits. You have made yourself sound smart and intelligent and left another person with nothing for his own work.

Don’t you think you need a strong cover?

The act of friendliness comes into the picture here. You see most of the people are stupid and emotional fools. Make use of this weakness. Once you know you have taken the juice out of that person for the current iteration, make it up to him. Here is what you need to do-

  • Give them fake credits for the work they did by acknowledging him in front of less important people.
  • Eat your food with him and do not hesitate to share your own.
  • Spend some money on them and take them in control.
  • Plant a seed of fear in their mind that if they go and talk directly to managers and upper management, their appraisal will be doomed. This is a sure shot technique and will keep the target away.
  • Intentionally laugh at his jokes even if it doesn’t sound funny.

Simply by following the above-mentioned guidelines, you will be able to pull this act like a master. Try to keep a smile on your face all the time (Tip: keep a smile-shaped mustache). I think you are going to rock at this one.

#2. Politics


This is another aspect that governs your success rates inside of any organization. Politics is at the heart of every organization. It is so prevalent that people gave it the fancy name – “Office Politics”. It is deeply embedded into the system that everyone is a part of it. Either you are the player or you are played on. There is no other way.

I have divided politics into two important types-

  • Aggressive
  • Defensive

Aggressive Politics

In this type of politics, you often end up hurting someone and don’t worry about that. It is totally fine. Someone will be hurt, it is only fair if it is not you who is hurt in the first place. This type of politics involves some time. It takes a lot of planning and plotting. You must spend some time in analyzing your target and plan your moves to take him down.

From my past experiences, here are some of the common acts that have been played upon me-

  • Credit Stealing

    Credit Stealing

    This is one of the common political acts that you can easily find in your organization. People will try to steal other people’s credit. Especially, the people at the position of Team Leads or Reviewers or Technical Leads are most often found to be the players. They have easy access to different people’s project and they get to know what is going on in the project. They do not have to do much to take the credit of their team’s work.
    You see if the project is going smooth, it is because of the team lead and if it is not going well, it is because of the team players. If this is happening to you, then my friend, you have become a victim of office politics.A good leader will always keep his team first and will always lead from the front.

  • De-motivating & Demoralizing the Victim

    Demotivating Boy
    Demotivating Girl

    Reviewers are often found to be lead players in this one. They usually have a person or entire team for review. This gives them the power to rule above you or team. Instead of motivating You and make you strong, reviewers are often found blaming you for your tiniest mistakes (for ex- You missed a comma in this sentence, this was not expected from you :o). They will pinch you for everything. I have experienced a real shitty situation which I would like to share with you all.

Story Time

When I was new to the team (my fresh days), I was put into a project with a team of 6 people. Among the 6 of us, three people had 3+ years of experience and 2 had 2+ years of experience (1 was new in the company) and I was a fresher or first timer you can say.

The first thing I noticed was that there was no proper knowledge transfer session. I was simply asked to work on the tasks with the other person who was also new to the company. We both were completely unknown about the project and our roles in the team for more than a couple of weeks. This was simply because there was no one responsible for transferring the knowledge or we were a part of politics. We will find out…

Sorry I would have to ask you to put your email address below to get the story straight into your inbox. I do not want to raise any issues by posting the story openly. I hope you understand 🙂

Defensive Politics

The story I just told was based on the aggressive politics and how they were ruining the lives of others just for their own benefits. The defensive politics is completely opposite of the aggressive politics. It is often played for the protection of oneself.

Somebody is plotting against you, it is time to protect yourself without putting intentional harm to anyone else.

Whenever you realize that people or individual is trying to circle you. Start drawing your own circle, meaning start making your own shields. Defensive Politics does not involve you going out of line to harm that person, it only means to protect yourself from the attacker. This often times the best way to keep yourself safe and moving up in your company.

You need the skills to identify threat around you. People are constantly looking to pull you down, keep a close watch of your surrounding and raise an alert in danger. This will keep the intruder away 🙂

#3. Communication


Probably the most important dynamics of success in almost every field. I have seen people lose the attention just because they were not good when it came to communication. When I say communication, I do not want you to get confused with control in language (especially English). By communication, I mean the exchange of information between two people. You got to be really good in expressing yourself.

Sometimes you face a situation where you are being blamed for doing something which you have not. At this time, if you are not good at expressing yourself and falsify the claim being made on you, then you could be ending up in really bad situation.

Another instance would be when you want something for yourself. You need to be really expressive in all ways to convince the person to agree with you.

Communication is an ART

Communication is simply one of the most important and most impressive skills to have. There are a few points that you must keep in mind and you can improve your communication skills in a blink.

  • Good Listener

    The very first step to a good communication is by listening to the person talking. Good listeners are the best people to understand someone better.
    Listening does not mean you are listening to the person but thinking something else inside your head. Good Listener means giving your full undivided attention to the speaker. Practice being a good listener and you will become intelligent. Try it if you don’t believe me :p

  • Nonverbal Communication

    This plays a very important role. Your body, mind, and tongue must all work in coordination to make you sound convincing to the person that he has nothing else but to agree with you on your thing.
    Nobody would believe you if you are constantly looking down while talking.
    Nobody would give you what you want if your body says you are a big dumb ass.
    Your body must speak what you think and that could make a real difference.

  • Confidence

    This is mandatory everywhere and not just in communication. You gotta be confident all the time, even if it is your first time. Your confidence must beat the other person’s confidence that he/she must agree with what you are saying. You could very well do it if any only if you know that whatever you are going to mean each and every word that you are going to say to that person.

  • Respect

    Never ever have disrespecting tone in your voice. Disrespecting tone is one of the most repelling attributes of a person. The respect factor can take you far even if you are a bad person at heart.
    A respect is something which dignifies you, which keeps the faith of a person in your that no matter what you will never misbehave with him.
    All these little stuff makes a lot of difference when you sitting in a meeting room with your manager and complaining about someone.
    Be respectful always. It is not optional, it is mandatory.

#4. Flattering & Ass Licking

Ass Licking

This is one dynamic, if mastered, can boost your success rate by at least 10 times. I like to call this one “Amplifier”. This alone does not have much significance, but, if it gets added to any one of the other dynamics, then it really becomes a powerful factor.

Quotes might help you understand better

There are so many enriching quotes on Flattery that could open up your eyes.

Flattery is like chewing gum. Enjoy it but don’t swallow it.

~ Hank Ketcham

Flattery is all right if you don’t inhale.

~ Adlai Stevenson

A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool.

~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he thinks about himself.

~ Dale Carnegie

Flattery succeeds best on minds previously occupied by conceit.


I hope you are enjoying the quotes because I’m going to double the fun. Let me tell you how you can use flattery in the most elegant way without getting out of the closet.

First of all, you will have to look flattery as an art, powerful art form that has the power to take on the world. Once you have felt the power of flattery it is your time to practice it. Look for the target person. In the corporate world, it is easy to spot the important person. He/she is your manager most of the times.

Now, that you have a motive, you will possess confidence. Just be natural and do not try to be over smart. You have to be natural, after all, you will have to make him believe that whatever you are about to say is pure truth and honesty. There is a way to everything. Just when you are with him/her with your query, just find something to appreciate about him/her. Appreciate her clothes or sandals or whatever. Just leave a small compliment for her. Say what she wants to hear. The more validations she will get from you, the more she/he will get lean towards you. It’s human nature.

This is where it all makes sense. She will always prefer you first and your mistakes will be overlooked. This will surely give you an edge over others. The art of flattery and ass licking has been with humans for a long time now. It has always worked. Just try to be that guy/girl.

Important things to take away from this article

I would like to conclude this article by saying that –

“Everything is fair in Love and War and this is Corporate War”.
~ Varun Shrivastava

My Delivery manager told me that if you are going to think about everyone else then who is going to think about you. You can not always be the good guy. It is the blame game, somebody wins by defeating someone else. You got to play the game with the game’s spirit.

Do not go around pleasing everyone else. Now, I’m not saying you don’t make friends or don’t take a stand for your friend when it is needed. I’m saying you got to defend yourself first when someone is trying to steal your credit. Don’t hesitate to start a war against your superior if he/she is trying to outsmart you in the eyes of someone else. You must take a stand for yourself.

Play politics not to bring someone down but to protect yourself. At the end, it is your reputation which will decide your position in your company. Do not hesitate to play back politics against your enemies. It is only fair to defend yourself if someone is hitting you with full force. Play the game.

There’s a lot of things that make or break you inside your company. Try to keep direct connection with yoru manager so that he may not get any wrong signals related to you or your work. Afterall you are alone in this war, you gotta defend yourself.

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  • Article By: Varun Shrivastava

  • Varun Shrivastava is an innovative Full Stack Developer at ThoughtWorks with around 4 years of experience in building enterprise software systems in finance and retail domain. Experienced in design, development, and deployment of scalable software. He is a passionate blogger and loves to write about philosophy, programming, tech and relationships. This is his space, you can get in touch with him here anytime you want.