It isn’t surprising to me anymore when managers tell me that they are frustrated because that promotion just isn’t coming quick enough. They believe that if someone would just give them the chance and promote them, they would be able to prove to their bosses that they are ready to do the job.
Unfortunately, the world of business just doesn’t work that way!
In order for senior management to feel good about promoting you up a level, you need to be showing them that you are ready to do the job today. They want to feel comfortable that it isn’t going to be too much of a stretch for you and that you will have the best chances of succeeding. To demonstrate to your leader that you are ready for the next job, follow these suggestions and you will hopefully achieve that promotion faster than you thought possible.
Model the leadership behaviors of the new position today.
This is especially true if you are trying to move from a support position into the management ranks. Too many people say they will behave in a more professional way once they get the management position. The truth is you will never be given that opportunity unless your boss can trust that you will conduct yourself as a professional and demonstrate a high level of character and integrity. Begin to separate your personal and professional life. Demonstrate an executive presence both in and outside of work. Demonstrate self-discipline. Show that you can lead yourself and you may be given the opportunity to lead others.
Be a sponge.
Learn all you can about the business and how your company operates. Select someone who is at the level you want to be at or above, and ask them to be your mentor. Model the behaviors that make them successful. Offer to cross train in another area, and if it’s not possible to do that in a formal way, look for opportunities to assist someone who needs temporary help or just “shadow” a manager in another department. A broad knowledge of your organization and your industry provides you with a more strategic view of the operation and enhances your value to the company.
Make your boss look good.
Look for ways to support your boss’ goals and help them to be successful. Their priorities should be your priorities. If you see something that needs attention, take the initiative to do it rather than waiting to be told to do so. If you align your goals and priorities with your manager’s, when you excel in your performance you can’t help but to make them happy. People promote the people they can count on to get the job done. Be that person for your boss. Strive to be the “go-to” player on your team.
Demonstrate a contageous positive attitude…always!
I am not talking here about the kind of positive attitude that makes other people roll their eyes and question whether you are actually living in the real world. Instead, be the kind of person that others like to be around. Give compliments often and never engage in gossip. See every failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, and be forgiving of yourself and others when mistakes are made. Lift others up rather than looking for ways to tear them down. The best compliment you can ever receive is that your attitude makes someone else want to be a better person.
So if you’ve been waiting quite some time for that next opportunity, it might be because of the economy, or you might be lacking in one of these areas. Don’t take any chances. Work on demonstrating you are ready for that promotion today.
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