08/30/2011 11:46 am ET | Updated Oct 30, 2011

Getting A Grip On Power: 10 Tips For A Successful Career

Ever since Fortune, in 1998, started ranking the top women in business (yes, we were first), I've been asking the stars of the Most Powerful Women list how they reached the top and how they stay there. One month away from revealing our 2011 MPW rankings, now seems a good time to share some of their best career tips. Here is my Top 10:

1. Don't plan your career. Most of the women on the Fortune MPW list, starting with PepsiCo (PEP) CEO Indra Nooyi, No. 1 in the rankings since 2006, had no clear career map when they graduated college or business school. Rather, they stayed flexible and open to the possibilities.

2. Forget the ladder; climb the jungle gym. What good is a ladder when the world is changing so fast and unpredictably -- and who knows what tomorrow's ideal job will be? Think of your career as a jungle gym, sharpen your peripheral vision, and look for opportunities all around.