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The Fast Track Formula

The Fast Track Formula

how to accelerate your career

Alan Robertson

Jul 2004, Paperback, 176 pages
ISBN13: 9780273675501
ISBN10: 0273675508
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There are several routes to senior management. But only one of them ensures that you'll be successful when you get there. Understanding and following that route will help you rise through the ranks faster, give you a competitive advantage every step of the way, and make you a success when you get that coveted senior position.

Interestingly most successful senior executives don't even realise the route they followed or the shift they made along the way, until they are questioned about it. When prompted, they will tell you that there was a shift in their thinking, and that was the turning point in their career.

So there is a shift that has to occur in you, for you to progress and succeed at each level in the corporate hierarchy. This is the first book to reveal what that shift is, and how you make it happen in yourself, before explaining how you then need to communicate this changed thinking to the world around you.

The shift starts in your thinking but it is reflected in what you say, what you do and how you behave and must therefore be very visible to everyone you work with - especially those who have the power to single you out for promotion at every stage. To become a fast track candidate you have to know and understand the fast track formula. Are you ready for the fast track?

Thanks to...

Acknowledgements...

Introducing...An ambitious little book

A provocative proposition

The shape of things to come

Assumptions

Part One: The Nature of the Track

Chapter 1: Careering Along
A glance in the mirror
Controlling the pace
Where next?

Chapter 2: The Hidden Structure of Careers
A mysterious parcel
The changing nature of work
A new view of the pyramid
The accelerators
Understanding your own track
Contextual hotspots
Where next?

Part Two: Mental Agility

Chapter 3: Higher-Order Thinking (HOT Stuff)
Thinking at the edge
Your current thinking challenges
Is your thinking up to it?
How do you think?
Characteristics of higher-order thinking
Developing higher-order thinking
Thinking hotspots
Where next?

Part Three: Interaction

Chapter 4: Defining Moments
Career limiting moments
Successful moments
The nature of defining moments
When to be most vigilant
Being ready for defining moments
Progressively harder to spot
The paradox of progression
Fatal incompetencies: reasons you might not get promoted
Interaction hotspots
Where next?

Chapter 5: Influential Relating
Five ways of relating
The competitive (forcing) postures
The avoiding (reluctant) postures
The accommodating (befriending) postures
The collaborative (joint problem-solving) postures
The compromising (give and take) postures
Extracting some principles
Developing your influential reading
Where next?

Part Four: The Formula at Work

Chapter 6: Hotspots, Cool Careers
How does career progression really work?
Knowing a hotspot when you’re in one
The use and abuse of higher-order thinking
Cool careers
Where next?

Chapter 7: Great Examples
Does the formula work?
The Boy Racer
Extraordinary – a Popular Politician
The Spy Mistress
The Adventuring Entrepreneur
Where next?

Beyond the Edge of this Book
The escape clause, maybe…

Selected Further Reading
Part One: The Nature of the Track
Part Two: Mental Agility
Part Three: Interaction
Part Four: The Formula at Work

Alan Robertson – Supporting transition into higher-level roles


  • Offers a ‘secret’ of corporate success. Everybody wants to climb the ladder fast and gain competitive advantage. This is a very very compelling ‘need/promise’.
  • It has scientific/academic credibility underneath - the book draws on rigorous research about the teaching of thinking that is not yet widely appreciated in the world of work.
  • Features ‘names’. Interviews with successful executives offer insight and support the theory.
  • Originality - takes a more differentiated view than most management texts, distinguishing what’s needed ‘at the top.’
  • This is the first book to reveal what that thinking shift is, and how you make it happen in yourself, before explaining how you then need to communicate this changed thinking to the world around you.

Alan Robertson is an independent management consultant who has advised businesses in a wide range of sectors including professional services, manufacturing, public utilities, financial services, publishing, education and healthcare. His work is aimed at helping individuals and organisations to meet new and emerging challenges and much of his time is devoted to personal coaching and group facilitation.

Alan has degrees in modern history, business administration and psychology. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a member of the British Psychological Society and a Visiting Lecturer at Cranfield University.

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