Here are six highly valuable steps to help you snag that next promotion, attain the next level of success, and be a more effective high performance leader.

#1 Don’t just set goals; crystallize them with clarity

Everyone with high potential has goals and dreams. But it is rare to find a person with great potential who has specific, clearly articulated goals that are constantly being revised and updated with forward-thinking proactive intensity. Those are the ones companies and elite clients want to work with, and if you put yourself into that special category you’ll be in high demand.

#2 Be ready and waiting

Your big chance may be brief, and those who aren’t prepared will miss the boat so plan for your future now, not tomorrow. But research indicates that those who plan ahead and have very specific goals in mind are generally 300 percent more likely to succeed on their own terms.

#3 Suit up for the championship

When great chances to excel present themselves the window of opportunity is usually really small. If you want be a great leader you have to become qualified now, not when the vacancy becomes open. Don’t expect the opportunity to hang around for you to get up to speed. Suit up NOW to play your biggest game.

#4 To develop as a leader, you must develop others

We live in an era when everyone is so focused on competition that genuine leadership often takes a backseat. People are driven by self promotion, especially in today’s economy. What they don’t realize is that top decision makers do not want to promote those with self-centered tunnel vision. They want leaders who reach out to support and encourage others. Develop those around you and promote their success. That will get you noticed in ways that will catapult you above the competition.

#5 Cultivate resolute determination

You will experience setbacks and failures and that is only natural. But if you have strong willpower and determination those will become springboards to success. Set the bar high. Challenge yourself. Rely on coaches and mentors who will push you to not just do your best but do better than you thought possible. That kind of unstoppable determination to succeed and can-do attitude will enable you to do anything you want in life, both personally and professionally.

#6 Play to your strengths

In my experience those who are really good at something got that way because they followed their passions. So evaluate your strengths and play to those – don’t get bogged down worrying about your weaknesses or shortcomings. Do what you do best, and work super hard at it so you will do it better than anyone else. That will carry you to the top while giving you the most fulfillment in life.

Along the way, pause to count your blessings and take an inventory of all the things for which you can and should be grateful. That simple act of gratitude will give you a completely different perspective on life that will empower you with a positive mindset. Appreciate how you got to where you are, in other words, and it will give you fuel to go farther and get to where you want to be.

What are you especially grateful for these days? It would be inspirational to hear from you and we all need as much inspiration as we can get in these challenging times.

Author's Bio: 

Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS is an internationally distinguished executive coach, corporate consultant, professional speaker, and the founding CEO of her own company, Illustra Consulting. A career acceleration and leadership presence expert, Hathorn created the innovative Predictable Promotion System, a 10-step proprietary process she uses to coach managers aspiring to be directors, directors seeking vice presidential promotions, and VP’s eager to ascend to the C-suite. Hathorn served as a senior level executive for a Fortune 100 company for 25 years, and she has more than 30 years of experience mentoring high potentials for rapid career advancement and extraordinary success.