If you’re looking to rise through your organization’s ranks, but aren’t sure how, consider creating a personal board of directors. This informal group comprises six to eight people who can help with your professional development. There are three types of people you should include. First, you need fans — people who support you and will deliver tough feedback with kindness and good intent. Second, recruit potential sponsors — senior leaders who can advocate for you when it’s time for a promotion. Third, include at least one critic. These people may be the toughest to approach, but they can be the most valuable. Look for people who have deep-seated perceptions of you and are likely to block you from advancing. If you enlist their help, you may be able to shift the relationship into a positive one and use their criticism to grow.
Adapted from “To Get Promoted, Get Feedback from Your Critics,” by Sabina Nawaz