area who was a vice president," says Davis. "She was one of the more respected people at that level." Davis sought his mentor’s advice on how to manage his career and get to the next level. "She made sure that I knew who the players were on the [trading] floor. She said, `Given your analytical abilities, you should be impressing the senior traders. Here are some people you need to work with.’"
He also turned to her during the company’s first round of layoffs in 1994.
"As a junior person on the desk, I remember being rather unsettled watching good people whose expertise were no longer needed at the firm," he recalls. "I remember feeling that I didn’t have enough access to the powers that be, or that I didn’t know enough about the game to know how to really position myself well." Davis’ mentor directed him to the managing director of the company’s Global Treasury department–an area in which he interned during college–to look for a more secure position. Shortly after, he was offered a job in the department.
According to Hall, your mentor should be able to confirm your accomplishments and vouch for your performance. "You have to keep your mentor informed. They need to know all of what you’re doing and can do."
3. ESTABLISH LEADERSHIP ABILITIES.
You may be a top performer, smart, and respected, but management has to have confidence in your ability to effectively manage a staff. You have to have successfully run departments and efficiently directed teams through projects.
There is also thought leadership, which Hall says shows independent thinking and initiative to bring new id
eas to the company. You have to be able to take risks. "You can’t be afraid," stresses Boss-Dulan. "You can’t be afraid to succeed. You can’t be afraid to fail. If you’re fearful, you’ll never move forward. If you don’t really know what you’re supposed to do, you just kind of make it what you want it to be. I thrive in environments where I create things. I think I’m much better when I’m different from people who are expected to do the same exact thing."
4. GAIN VISIBILITY.
If you do everything mentioned and still no one notices, how do you benefit? Gaining visibility is a natural progression for those who are proven leaders. "For me to make managing director, I need to be involved in a good number of high-impact transactions, on which I either serve as the team leader or as one of the senior members of the team," says Davis. These are projects, he notes, that would spread across five to 10 different areas of the firm. "You want to make sure you’re speaking with a number of different department heads and that they respect what you bring to the table and see you as someone who gets the job done."
5. GAIN WIDESPREAD SUPPORT.
"Once you become a candidate, [executives] start checking supporting departments," says Hall. "If you work in manufacturing,