“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus is pretty clear: life is not about the pecking order, it is about an attitude of service. If we spend time worrying about our advancement we cannot and will not advance the gospel. You cannot do both.
Take the lower position: ask others about their lives rather than promote yourself. Work at listening. Work hard at thinking about the needs of others. Maintain a humble attitude before the Lord, recognizing that we are His by grace not because of our superiority. Humility starts in our relationship with God.