Staking a Claim and Claiming a Position

A reader asks:
How do you lay claim to a position once you have established that position?
You can move to a position, but it isn't really established until you claim it. The last two of Sun Tzu's nine formulas (review them here) and two chapters of his book deal with this problem in detail, but the easy analogy that I use is staking a claim it a gold mine. You made your move, that is, found what you think is your gold mine: now what do you have to do to get anything out of it? First you have to prove that it is gold by having your gold assayed. Then, you have to clearly define the boundaries and location of your mine. Then you have to file your claim at the land office, and then you have to work the mine to keep the claim to get the gold out. For example in advancing on the job, you have to have your value evaluated by others. Then you must decide how you want your boundaries of authority and responsibility expanded. Then you must ask others to publicly accept or reject those new boundaries. Finally, you must make that position pay, that is, ask for a raise or other compensation. It is no coincidence that these four actions themselves follow the cycle of listen-aim-move-claim. As Sun Tzu said, his system is scalable: every step in the cycle breaks down into another cycle. If you want to know how any step works in detail, think about how it breaks down into these four steps.