7 SIGNS THAT YOU WILL BE PROMOTED REGULARLY
I recently had the good fortune of handing out promotion letters to some well deserving team mates. It is a real privilege to work with these stars who consistently perform, are often a joy to work along side and make a real difference to the lives of everyone they touch at work. Made me wonder how come some keep getting pay raises and promotions. What are they doing right and what can the rest of us learn from them. So here goes 7 core themes that I found consistent to these outstanding leaders who consistently get promoted and in many cases are literally doubling their pay.
- Ambition – They consistently look to push them selves beyond the norm. Their own inner drive is to be the best or to test their limits and see how far things can go. They set bold visions and they want everyone to embrace the same. This also drives clarity as one cannot set a 100 ambitious goals. Having 2-3 usually is sufficient to bring focus to the whole team. The drive of ambition also attracts to them the right kind of team who also wants to stretch itself. They eventually have the ultimate realization is that they are not working to achieve amazing things because the boss says so but because that is how they are made. Their inner motivation is to aim for the best and and not give up till one gets there. Any less and they feel they are shortchanging themselves. So set bold clear ambitious goals that drive you and your team to bring out their best and surpass their own limits.
- Compassion – They truly care about others in their team because they know that they cannot do anything alone. It means they listen carefully when others speak to really understand. They make time for others at work. When with someone they are focused and truly listening. They minimize distractions and truly pay attention. They make a note of what their colleagues need and how they can help. They are also attuned to the personal lives and feelings of their colleagues. Everyone appears to be a friend or can become one. Everyone is important and their views matter.
- Collaboration – They realise that collaboration is the secret sauce that makes high performance teams. This means putting a high value on working together, engaging with each other and deeply collaborating to win. It may mean many times letting others come to the front and take the credit. It means being the first to appreciate others. It also means telling one’s boss about the good work others do and not just one’s own. They make time for brainstorms, workshops, face to face meetings. When meeting colleagues they ask questions like “What do you think” and “how can we win together…”. They have a deep understanding that the best of you and the best of me can together create something magical and exceptional. They are happy to change their view when faced with good facts and logic from others.
- Decisions & Risks – They make decisions. They take risks. They move forward and move others forward. They know that information is always imperfect and no one knows the perfect answer. They know that time lost in delibrations doesn’t come back. They are not into long lengthy powerpoints and complex analytics. They simplify, clarify and move forward. They always keep the worst case scenario in their mind and minimize risks by taking small bets at a time. They keep everyone moving forward. When they sense delay, indecision they force the issue. They will often make 10-20 micro decisions a day. They like the feeling of crossing a task over and move forward. When people want a decision made they go to them.
- Execution – More than any technical skill set or any special ability, it is their ability to execute that sets them apart. They know that execution is 99.99% of success. They develop their own execution system – setting goals, following up to check in on results, de bottle necking issues as they arise. They get into details sufficiently enough to know. Then they delegate all that can be delegated. Reviews are in built into their schedule – with customers, colleagues, cross functional partners. Frequent informal check ins and structured regular reviews. They face the truth, even if it is ugly and work to correct it. They know execution is the heart of business.
- Persistence – They know that the world of work is full of Nos’. At every step where there is complexity and challenges, most people work on taking the simpler option. These leaders dive straight in. They are immune to No. they try alternate channels of getting the same thing done. When not able to solve it themselves, they bring in others to brainstorm and find solutions. They study how others may have done it. They know when you hold on long enough, solutions appear.
- Humility – Strong leaders have weak egos. The best ones don’t have an ego at all. They share credit with their teams and colleagues. Appreciating good work comes naturally to them. They know that no success comes without true team effort. They don’t boast or talk about how great they are. They focus on what needs to be done and take quiet satisfaction in a job well done. When sharing success with the wider teams they ensure the goal is to highlight what everyone has done. They know that learning is the key to growth and hence they ask questions. Speak less, listen more. Ask for advice and others’ opinions before professing one’s own.
No leader is perfect or has all these strengths. But leaders who progress and get promoted faster have many or most of these and are constantly working to sharpen their saw.
So ask yourself how many of these are your strengths ? and what do you need to do develop them. And get promoted.