Moving Up the Corporate Ladder

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moving up the corporate ladder
Tips on moving up the corporate ladder from Maggie Butler, cofounder and co-CEO, The CM Group (at right).

Here are five tips on leadership and moving up the corporate ladder from pharmaceutical event planner-turned-entrepreneur Maggie Butler.

Success has many definitions. For Maggie Butler, cofounder and co-CEO of The CM Group, it meant starting her own business after 5 years in the meetings industry. Here are five of her tips on moving up the corporate ladder:

Love what you do

“I’m a Type A personality and a planner at heart. From my first job on a corporate event team, I knew that corporate meeting planning was a great fit. Once my career got going, I realized that a lot of what drives me as a human being also could drive my career,” she said.

Don’t climb blindly

Success is not about achieving the next career move that looks good in the eyes of other people, said Butler. Sometimes, a lateral move is smarter for what you want to do long term. Butler’s corporate leaders kept pushing her to move into marketing and sales, but she did not want to give up the joy of creating the end product of an event. “That was the impetus to start my own medical event management company in 2005. Today, we have over 80 employees.”

Don’t let age hold you back

Butler tells her leadership team and the people she mentors to focus on what people bring to the table, not their age. “I was very young when I found success and started quickly moving up the corporate ladder. Some people felt that I was too young for the accolades and recognition I was receiving, but my achievements spoke for themselves.”

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Mistakes happen. Own them. “I made a serious mistake early on and immediately owned up. My bosses commended me for having the maturity to say ‘this was my fault and I will rectify it.’ I never try to hide or shift the blame. I think this is something that makes me successful with our clients now.”

Find mentors you admire

Seek out people with values and leadership qualities you would like to emulate and choose your mentors carefully. “Starting out, I worked with many high-level executives, but often those one or two steps ahead gave me the best advice because I respected and felt more aligned with their core values, work ethic, and how they treated people.”

Want to learn more? Butler will be speaking at an interactive session entitled: Professional Development Strategies: Move Up the Corporate Ladder at the 8th Annual Global Pharmaceutical and Medical Meetings Summit, February 10-12, 2020 in Boston.


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