Time for that promotion?

We all know there are things we’re good at — and things that we are not.  Some of us try to get better at the things that need improvement and others surround ourselves with those complementary experts.  Both are good options, just different styles.

Eventually we professionally develop enough to be ready for the next promotion, which is when all sorts of interesting things happen.  What do I mean by that?  Well promotions shouldn’t be taken lightly.  You need to be ready for them in advance, rather than using them as a catalyst for motivation.  In other words, have you proven that you can easily fulfill the new role or do you need the new role to help prove yourself?   I hope the former, because good leadership notices when you are working beyond expectations, and this quality is usually reflective of your ability to handle the new, and sometimes unexpected, responsibilities of a promotion.  Even if your bosses do not notice your hard and productive work, remember that no one can take your experiences away from you, and there’s nothing like a good, gentle reminder to the higher-ups about how you add value to the organization.

The other thing that can happen with promotions is a shift in responsibilities.  At some point in your career, you will have the opportunity to move away from being a doer to being a manager, or from being a manager to being a leader.  It sounds exciting, but make sure these moves are really suited to your strengths.  The expected progression goes from learning a new job to becoming proficient in it.  Most people love this space, because they are proud of their expertise, feel productive, readily help others upon request, and have personal time outside of work.  This is entirely different from being a manager, when you have a lot less tactical work to do, and you need to be strong in teaching, mentoring, and providing feedback — while being patient and becoming part of the bigger company system.  True leadership has an entirely different role in an organization.  Leaders may need to deal with a lot of detail, but they also must look at the big picture, analyze what’s happening, and adjust the organization to get continuously better — through both personal inspiration, financial integrity, and commitment to the larger business vision.

Where do you really fit in?  If you haven’t taken the time to figure it out, you probably should.  There are a lot of people who put undue stress on themselves, because they are trying to do what they think is expected of them, rather than doing what is personally right.  You want to be one of those guys?  I sure don’t ….

Always wishing you the best,

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