It amazes me how often people try to build themselves up as a leader by building down from the sky, instead of up from the ground.
You can’t build a hundred-story skyscraper by starting with the top floor, suspending it from the moon with guidewires as you build the rest of the building down from there. But that’s often exactly what people try to do when they want to advance.
They want to be a leader more than they want to build anything worth leading.
Being a leader is actually really simple, though it’s also very hard. You just have to lead. You want to rise through the ranks at your organization? Train and mentor the people under you until they’re unstoppable. You want to be the CEO of a company? Start a small business and grow the heck out of it.
You can’t declare yourself CEO and then decide to build a business. You can’t get promoted and then worry about learning to train and mentor people. You can’t build the pyramid from the top block down.