Do’s and Don’t of Promotions
I work with many individuals who are shakers and movers. They have been with their organization for at least 10 years, have a strong sense of their job duties and requirements, and yet are passed during promotions. They come to me, because they are tired of being the “door matt”. They want to know precisely why, and how to change the outcomes for their careers. In our career planning sessions, there are lots that are revealed; fears, obstacles, advantages, politics, ambitions, and pushing to dream forward. Together we have the hard conversations. Much of the internal conflict caused is usually a result of incongruent and faulty notions and beliefs. I shake all that up, and they get to be the movers they strive to be.
Truth about Change
Just as in any other change in life, first the prerequisites for the change have to be met, which in this case are a. an open position that needs to be filled, b. readiness, and willingness to fill that vacancy, c. the aptitude and attitude to stand out and above the competition
Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts that have helped my past clients get promoted beyond their wildest dreams:
- Don’t have the corporate “warhead”. Your organization is not out to get you, and by not promoting you, they are not trying to “put you in timeout”. You have to work with your company and in fact get them to see your assets.
- Don’t set expectations of time. Time is man-made measure and not correlated to results. Longevity is not a guarantee or even an indication of a promotion. Similar to productivity, time is just a spectator.
- When it comes to qualifications, don’t just meet them. Would a golfer be able to go pro, if he was just playing par? Aim to score a Condor every time (Score of 4 under par; the lowest individual hole score ever made).
- Do focus on the future. A promotion is not about the past, the number of hours you have put in or the “deserving” mentality. The company doesn’t and can’t worry about that. They want to know you are the one that will take the company to the next level.
- Don’t flatter yourself. Its not about you, its about them. Come from a place of humility, but know your worth. This is at the heart of the matter. The Law of Attraction says, if you want to succeed, you have to come from a place of strength and gratitude and dream your goals, rather than a place of need. Focus on being good, not from convincing people you are. Reality always prevails.
- Do Lead from your current position. Don’t try to convince yourself that once you change jobs you’ll lead. You don’t become a leader when you get promoted, you get promoted because you are a leader.
- A large part of the readiness dialogue, is the part that has to do with soft skills. The higher up an organization you go, the tougher decisions you have to make. Do you have the emotional intelligence to stay true to yourself, and walk the very fine line between organization’s values and yours? Don’t fool yourself into thinking it will be anything similar to what you have already been doing. Leadership is a transformation, and needs a whole set of new skills. Caterpillars’ bodies “melt” almost completely before morphing into butterflies in the chrysalis.
- Don’t confuse people skills with politics. Emotional Intelligence, is part of the job description. Being a good communicator, being visible, being resourceful and positively managing and building relationships are part of all jobs today. Organizations have realized that the above are more rare to find that job related skills alone and wouldn’t promote you to leadership without having those qualities.
- Do observe trends. The universe has a way of communicating with everyone, however the big component is the listening end. If you believe you were passed on a promotion because of politics, you may be right. But if it happens over and over again, there is certainly more to it. Acceptance is the first step to change.
Overall, I can’t agree more with Raymond James in that “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it”. I have also had numerous clients admit that they have tried all of the above, and their organization, or their leader has failed to realize their potential. I have helped them move on and they have been immediately promoted in a new setting. If your company is not the right fit, quit and don’t let the environment spoil who you are.