A few years ago, this posting on the secret to getting promoted caught my eye.
After several years at Microsoft, I had an epiphany today. I came to the realization that the best way, rather the only way -- to get promoted is to demonstrate the ability to hire and retain top talent. Other factors do go a long way but without the ability to hire, you are going to reach your glass ceiling sooner than you think.
I have done absolutely nothing to demonstrate this ability, and if I managed to hire or retain anybody, it was purely by accident and for that I apologize.
As far as I'm aware, I've never done anything listed in the article as "the only way" to get promoted. I must have been promoted by mistake. (And I suspect Mini-Microsoft might have a thing or two to say to the claim that the only way to get a promotion at Microsoft is to hire, hire, hire.)
Yes, I know that the phrase "the only way" was written for rhetorical effect and is not to be taken literally. I'm making a joke, people!
And as it so happens, I also took the text out of context. The target audience for the remarks was senior management, not dorky programmer types like me. So, strike two.
Aftermath: After reading this entry in my "upcoming entries" blog queue accessible only to Microsoft employees, a fellow employee emailed me to say that this Web site was a factor in deciding to come to Microsoft, so my claim that I have done absolutely nothing is incorrect. I wrote back, "Well, maybe so, but it's also the case that I haven't been promoted since you were hired."
The response: "I guess I must not be top talent."