Accelerate to Higher Leadership

Posts Tagged "get promoted"


So you’re a senior manager with an eye on reaching the executive level. You’re reaching for that next rung, thinking that it is only a matter of time before the next promotion. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but unfortunately, no, your current position is not a waiting period. You’re there to grow to learn skills and leadership behaviors that will be critical for the next level.

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You may think you are on the path to the next level of management, but if you are unwittingly falling into these traps, your career is going to stall. Before you say something like, “Of course I delegate, of course I set clear goals,” stop and rethink your assumptions about what those terms imply. As someone who has been involved in thousands of promotional decisions I can tell you these pitfalls are repeat offenders that have derailed many promising careers.

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Is the Feedback on Your Work Behaviors Valid? If you are seen as a high potential leader or individual contributor, you are expected to be open to all sorts of feedback intended to make you a stronger leader or prepare you for the next level of responsibility. Much of this feedback is advice on your behaviors. This type of feedback can seem a bit personal and intimidating. When the high potential asks clarifying questions, the person giving the feedback isn’t always able to provide the detail needed to identify the specific behavior causing the perception. How can you tell if it is valid feedback you should act on?

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It happens all too frequently. You have worked long hours, been given greater responsibility, and know you are capable but still someone else got the promotion.  Was your boss playing favorites?  Is it because you made some mistake five years ago? Was it politics? Usually these are not the culprits. Most often the problem is within the individual. Here are three common mistakes high potential employees make that lose them the promotion opportunity:

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Most companies like to keep their succession planning results a tightly held secret. This unfortunately results in most employees not knowing if they are considered a candidate for future promotion. On rare occasion the person is told the leadership team believes they have the ability to be successful at the next leadership levels but the reasons for the selection may still seem vague. So how will you know if you are considered a high potential and worthy of future leadership promotion?  There are four expectations of high potential employees that I have seen be constants in the selection of promotional candidates. 

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