Can't run compiled c files that are not in /bin/ or /usr/bin/

I recently installed Mandrake 10.1 and from my experience I should be able to execute compiled c files from a shell by just typing ./program_name but this doesn't work. The error I get is command not found. I set the permissions to 777 on the directory that contains the file and the file that I was trying to execute.  I can run the compiled c file when I copy it to the /bin/ or /usr/bin/ folders but not in other folders.  I've also tried running the file as root and it still doesn't work.  Does anyone know how I can get files to execute from any folder.

Thanks in advance.

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ls -lA ./program_name

Most of cases, ./program_name has insufficient permissions.
To be run it has to set +x permissions, btw.
Ensure that the following attributes are on your file:
To change rights to execute your program:
$ chmod u+rwx file_name

file_name is your compiled C program.
ChaileorAuthor Commented:
My permissions are all fine.   The attributes on my file are rwxrwxrwx.  I also set them to rwxrwxrwx on the directory containing the file just to be safe.  I thought there would be a simple solution to this but I can't seem to find an answer so I think that an answer to this is worth more points than I had originally set.
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can you give the output of

# echo $PATH
please ....

ChaileorAuthor Commented:
This is the output from # echo $PATH:

I hope this helps.

as you are typing ./progname your path is not used.
does your program make any system calls to other programs? you may be getting an error from a call it is making.
are you doinf any setuid in the program or is it a simple "hello world" prog?


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is your program in the directory /home/jeff/bin??

if so try the below
unset PATH
export PATH

then run your program  with ./whatever-is-the-name


ChaileorAuthor Commented:
Thanks mike_mian, I just needed to add ./ to my path variable and now everything runs great.  To permanently add that to my path I just edited /etc/profile and added the line

export PATH=$PATH:./

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