I think it varies a lot depending on your workplace.
In many cases i think simply mimicking and sucking up to your boss or those at the top can work, although I believe it's quite dishonorable.
Personally i think going beyond your call of duty without being asked is the most effective way.
For example, in many jobs I have taken on (and learned how to do) bits and pieces that nobody else looked after.
Sure, you're not getting paid to do it, but when a promotion opportunity comes up you'll be well positioned for it.