The game of climbing to the top

One of the better Broadway shows of some years ago was a musical comedy entitled ‘How to succeed in business without really trying’. The main character was a young employee who was constantly trying to impress his boss.
In one scene he arrived at work a few minutes before 9:00 a.m., and proceed to loosen his tie, muss up his hair and throw papers and documents all over his desk. When the boss arrived a few minutes later he found this employee (obviously) exhausted from working all night.
It was a funny scene because, while it was obviously exaggerated, it enlarged the silly games some people play in at work in order to get ahead.
Assuming similar backgrounds and capabilities, why do some people shoot straight to the top while others seem to remain forever in low or middle management?

Perhaps the answer lies in understanding the difference between capabilities and effectiveness, which is using those capabilities to achieve certain results.
Employees who just work up to their capabilities do not reach at the top. The achievers, combine their capabilities with other things (i.e. know-how, common-sense, flexibility, teamwork, etc.) and can show results because they are effective in selling their ideas inside and outside the company.

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