Ok, so last week, I introduced the 10 Ways To Make Certain That You Get That Next Promotion – Part 1.
Initially, I introduced the idea that attitude is a big focus and most importantly, you must be willing to own your own growth path to promotions. That doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of programs for development that are being offered, it does however suggest that you own your own growth and development, this ensures you have the opportunity to take advantage of everything available to you and don’t miss out. To ensure that I provide enough guidance on how to leverage each of these 10 ways, I have decided to make each way a blog, thus allowing you to gain as much insight as possible on how to capitalize on each of the 10 ways.
This week we will focus on the 1st of my proposed 10 ways. The first way is to Decide where you might want to go within your organization, or your field of endeavor. The idea here is to plot out a path that you can review regularly, and course correct as needed. Another advantage is that you can look for patterns of success, from others who have made the same journey and learn from their efforts. The key is to set a long-term goal for where you would want to be in 5 or 10 years from now. Don’t just focus on the next role, but the next 2, 3, or maybe even 5 roles, to see where you might want to go. Find others who are where you want to be and ask them how they got there.
The key is to create a plan that allows you to develop a step by step approach to get where you want to go in your company or field of endeavor. This process alone gives you tactical action items you can work on and areas for you to develop in to help you prepare for the next step. For instance, while I was still attending college at Northern AZ University, while I was studying Accounting, I chose that degree because it showed a high likelihood for growth in the industry and it was also something I was good at. However, in my Junior year, while working at an internship, I realized how quickly I got bored with the mundane work and unless there was a significant challenge, I lost interest in daily bookkeeping.
At that point, I chose to change my major to something else, my initial response was to move to Finance as it was the most logical and would require the least amount of disruption from my current class and credit requirements and still graduate on time. However, when I was discussing this with my counselor, he pointed out that I should consider what I would want to do for a company. Instinctively, I said CEO, I had already had my own businesses before going to college and wanted to lead a group of people and ultimately an entire organization. So, I did my research and found that of all the undergraduate degrees, most polled CEO’s had theirs in Finance. A secondary study suggested that many, then current, CEOs came up through the ranks of the Sales departments, followed by a large amount, people who worked up through the Finance departments. So that solidified my decision.
Fast forward a few years while working in the Wireless Industry, I remembered the study and decided that being a successful sales producer and eventually sales leader, would lead to the types of opportunities I would be interested in the future. Ultimately, if I was going to head up an organization where most employees were sales people, I would need to prove my competence in that role and then my ability to lead sales people. My success in the Wireless industry over the last 20 years has been a calculated and targeted approach to get to where I wanted to be somewhere in the future and ultimately someday being CEO of an organization.
In knowing what it will take to get to your ultimate role, whether it’s in this organization or another, even if the role doesn’t exist today, you can begin to strategize on what to work on next. Additionally, by knowing where you want to go, you can spend time and resources on getting to understand what skills you may need to develop and what new things you may need to learn. Often as people are looking to make their climb up the corporate ladder, they are confused as they reach the next level and find that the skills necessary to be successful at that level are not the same skills that they had been honing and fine tuning for years previously.
A great book that I read years ago while on my journey was, What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful, by Marshall Goldsmith. What he discussed in that book was that in our business world today, it is a common practice to promote people to their highest level of incompetence. Meaning, that we take someone great at sales for instance, and promote them to sales manager, assuming they were great at that the sales role, so they should be a great sales leader.
However, as many of us know, what makes a good sales person, does not necessarily make a good sales leader or manager. Likewise, as a good sales manager makes the leap into Executive leadership, they will likely find, as I did, that what makes a good Sales Manager, does not prepare you for Executive Leadership. It requires a whole new set of skills that if you don’t have, you will need to acquire and adjust quickly or suffer the consequences.
So, what you need to understand that is vitally important is that, whatever roles you are working towards next, likely, you will need to develop some new skills that you do not have today. And, your organization may or may not have a strategy or program to prepare you for that next opportunity. So, the only way to ensure that you are prepared for that next opportunity is to invest time and energy understanding what that role might look like and then, invest more time gathering and developing the necessary skills to be ready for the role, when the opportunity presents itself.
For more information about an effective strategy on how to prepare for that next opportunity, you may want to consider our Goal Setting Coaching Programs, where we review your current skill sets, help you evaluate your potential opportunities, and then put together a strategy to develop the necessary skills for those next roles and ensure you are prepared for that next big promotion. For more information, visit our site at www.EricWhitmoyer.com/Coaching and review our newest coaching program tailored for specifically for people like you!
Thanks for reading, check back next week for Part 3.
Have an amazing Thanksgiving Holiday!