While taking a leadership class at USC Marshall School of Business, my professor made a few minutes to discuss five experiences that lead to promotions. This information comes from 88 development opportunities most correlated with rapid improvement.

Scratch Opportunity

Description: You start from scratch; you run it, you hand it off.

What people will say about you: You can start something new and outlast you.


Description: You start something, run it (on schedule), and shut it down on time. This approach is often seen within industries such as Event Planning and Finance.

What people say about you: "You're a finisher. You put integrity ahead of you. You're a closer."

Fix It

Description: You take something that's broken and make sure it gets fixed.

What people say about you: "You're action-oriented, you can get the trust of people. You can fix it."


Description: Someone gives you a project that you can grow, or you were on a losing side of a re-org.

What people say about you: "You can handle big increases. That person is emotionally resilient."

Line & Staff

Description: You can lead from influence.

What people say about you: "Line: You can lead from authority. Staff: You can lead from influence."