Which ladder are you scaling right now? Do you feel anxious about making progress? Or not making progress? For every decision we are making, and pieces we are advancing, sometimes it pays to question our own motives and ask which ladder we are trying to climb. What sort of progress we are actually looking for?
Of course, one can boil everything down to status roles in every interaction. All the tensions we face are about considering what sort of actions we take would help us move up status roles or at least avoid going down. We are asserting our current position or climbing up. In that sense, the question of which ladder, is perhaps a more powerful metaphorical tool.
So are you being a better employee, or husband, or friend? Which domain of status do you care about? How do you juggle all of them?