Foreword By:  Dr. Manthan Janodia   Professor and Head, Department of Pharmacy Management, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences Manipal Academy of Higher Education


The laments of a few middle-level managers in the Indian industries

“I feel I am at stuck in my career as Divisional Sales Manager in my organization. A couple of years later I may be designated as a Senior Divisional Manager but by job responsibilities will not change. I feel that my goal of becoming a C-level professional is going farther and farther away.  I am not clear on what are the next steps for me to develop for the C-Suite responsibility.”

– Nilesh C. (Divisional Sales Manager in an ACE company i.e. Appliance and Consumer Electronics)

“I have worked successfully as a brand manager, group brand manager and for the last eight years I am stuck as deputy marketing manager. I feel I am ready to take on the next challenge: Advancing to the C-Suite. But why do my bosses and the HRD does not feel so?”

– Dipali M. (Deputy Marketing Manager in Pharma India)

“I have been with this MNC for over a decade. I joined this company as a sales representative and in less than 13 years I became the National Sales Manager. I am still rotting in this position for the last 11 years. The management appreciates my contributions and middle-level leadership qualities. But I haven’t been able to make further progress. Now I see myself as ‘a performer once, a piece of furniture now’.”

– Patrick D. (National Sales Manager in a White Goods company)

(Names changed to protect privacy)

Such stories abound in our business sectors. What is it that’s necessary to get out of this stalemate and break into the C-Suite? Of course, the higher you go, the space decreases, but are you really ready to reach there?

The rewards and the accolades are for your good work done in your current position. Success in today’s job is not an assurance for future C-Suite roles. It is not uncommon for mid-level managers to experience the glass ceiling effect beyond a point.

Clearly, what made you a middle-level manager will not lead you to the C-Suite. And if you are one such hapless mid-level manager, groping in the dark, this book is for you.

Has the Peter’s Principle come into play and led to the stagnation of your career as a middle level manager? Maybe yes, but most probably no. This could be because you have not been able to find a mentor. Or you may not be prepared for the new challenges expected in the C-Suite when you are a mid-level manager. Breaking into C-Suite role requires you to be thoroughly prepared for it.

This book will certainly help all middle-level managers in the Indian business sector, whether you are in engineering goods manufacturing, finance, human resources or marketing, to prepare for the new role ahead. At the end of this book, you will be mentally prepared to enter the C-Suite.

This book has been inspired by many thought leaders.

Frankly, neither the title nor the contents of this book are my original. But you cannot accuse me of plagiarism! The definition of plagiarism is “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own”. But is this not what I have done. Like in the homeopathy branch of medicine, in this book, I have extracted, distilled, and dynamised the thoughts and ideas from over 70 books and articles, including the Harvard Business.

Review. I have interpreted the complex ideas of C-Suite management in a very simple form. I have refrained from jargon! The language is down-to-earth and lucid. I have edited the important parts of the original articles in a way which will be easy for anyone to understand, digest and apply them in day-to-day practice – whether you are working at TCS, Godrej Soaps, Ghadi Detergents, Whirlpool or at Sun Pharmaceuticals.

I have freely used Harvard Business Review articles, like “Listening to People”, “How Managers Become Leaders”, Assessment: What’s Your Curiosity Profile?” and another thirty-five more. I have cited these at the end of every chapter.

I have tweaked the title of my book from Marshall Goldsmith’s title, “What Got You Here, Will Not Take You There”.  But beyond that, there is no resemblance.

And all these efforts are because I want to see you at the top, very soon!

I have quoted and cited whenever I have borrowed and used someone else’s words and their ideas.

The style of writing is completly different. It is based on Catholic catechism. It is a series of questions and answers between a mentee, Shreya Tawde and her mentor Varun Gupte. This will make the reader grasp the original idea with more comfort and retainit on the top of mind.

Although these two names although fictitious, they bear a close resemblance to the real people who have come in my life. The names of the other characters in the book have been changed to safeguard their privacy

Cover Design -  Haresh Raut and Janhvi Raut of Spectrawide

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