"How can I influence people in management to get the support I need my career goals?”
This is easy.
Well, it’s easy to write – putting it into practice can take a bit of time/effort on your part, but this idea works quite well, I’ve found.
In a nutshell, my suggestion is this:
Remember the bottom line -- always!
Keep in mind that – despite whatever anybody may say otherwise – your company is in the business of making money.
And that is what management is concerned with.
To get managers above you to support your plans and your goals, you want to show them how doing so will help the company make more money.
Don’t just tell your boss, “I want to be a manager some day” – show your boss the value you could bring to the company in that position….
That means keeping track of everything you do for the company, how it affects the bottom line, and coming up with new ideas for growing the business, cutting expenses, and improving the bottom line: profits.
Of course, if you have a specific idea for improving your company, don’t hesitate to take it to your boss, but do have all your ducks in a row:
Have the idea worked out completely, from start to finish: what your idea is, why you're proposing it, what it costs, what it saves (or produces), the plan for implementing it, and obstacles/objections that may need to be overcome along the way…
And then you have to be willing to do the whole thing yourself OR be willing to give it up completely to somebody else to do, if you’re not the best person for the task.
Most of all, you really, truly, deep-down, have to believe 110% in the idea.
You have to be the champion of it and keep pushing it -- even if the initial reaction to it is not so good.
(Another approach is to take your ideas not directly to your boss, but to somebody else in the company who the boss's trust. Get feedback from that person, see how they would present it, ask if they would be willing to help you sell this idea.)
The more you appear to be looking (sincerely) after the interests of your company (as opposed to merely pursuing your own interests), the more likely you are to be heard.
I'd encourage you to read Seth Godin's work from the last few years, if you haven't already:
In particular, I think FREE PRIZE INSIDE and PURPLE COW would be most applicable to your specific question, but they all are really powerful books on creating and implementing ideas and change in businesses and markets.
So, focus on the bottom line and soon you'll be moving up!