This is what I tell people when they ask for my top advice to advance at work.
If you can build strong, positive relationships with the people who report to your supervisor’s peers, you’ll create the network of allies who will help you succeed.
The reasons are both political and practical.
💡 Think politically first. When you have positive relationships with those in peer departments, you’ll also have a positive reputation with your supervisor’s peers. When it’s time to look for candidates for promotion, you will have already built those relationships of support.
💡 It’s also practical. Those cross-departmental relationships will give you a broader view of how your team’s work impacts the business. That bigger-picture vision will help you make better decisions when you are selected for a promotion.
But be careful when you build those relationships…
⛔ Don’t undermine your current supervisor or team members in your attempt to build those other relationships. The loss of trust with your current leader will likely undermine any advantage you hope to gain from your cross-departmental friends.
Effective leadership depends on relationships. The sooner you start building them, the more successful you can be.