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Suzy Welch: There’s a specific type of employee that always gets the promotion—here’s why

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It’s a familiar scenario in most workplaces: A few employees whose skills and performance seem average keep getting promoted — sometimes over their top-performing colleagues.  

There can be a number of reasons for this, but bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch says there’s a particularly common one. The people speeding ahead, she tells CNBC Make It, tend to be “happy extroverts.” It’s a personality type that gives some people “a real career advantage.”

She says she first observed this 30 years ago when she noticed that it wasn’t the smartest person among her Harvard Business School classmates who got hired first, but rather the most popular. These people, she says, were “the ones who were outgoing and friendly — warm, authentic and highly verbal — the ones who planned the beach picnics and tracked you down after class to compliment you on a good answer.”

At first, Welch says, she found this dynamic irritating. “I remember calling home and moaning, ‘Mom, I don’t think my grades here actually count at all!’”

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