A Promotion; What an exciting word for most people in companies and organizations! It signifies recognition for your hard work, your ability, and your potential. It also tends to come with a raise and title that gives our ego a boost and pat on the back. As with anything, there are Pros and Concerns… and I want to share them with you regarding your eventual promotion and The 4 Ways to maintain the promotion you’ve earned and your sanity along the way!
As a former employee within organizations, I’ve received promotions and have been offered promotions. Some I took, as I was in a time of my like of Knowledge & Advancement and wanted to move up. Others I declined, as my vision for my life and desire to become a professional speaker, trainer, and author was paramount and I didn’t want a distraction of increased responsibility during or after my official workday. In either case, being acknowledged for a promotion feels good! The Pro is you were acknowledged and ready to be rewarded for your ability, your potential, and have the power to negotiate your worth!
Unfortunately, “The Concerns” can be numerous. Most organizations offer promotions to employees because they do one thing very well. A Person sells a million dollars’ worth of product… they’re now the Sales Manager! The truth is… they may not know how to lead at all. They know how to sell a million dollars’ worth of product their way and once in a position of leadership they will teach it that way, expect everyone to do it their way, and come down on those who don’t.
Another Concern, some employees don’t have a vision of their professional lives, haven’t truly thought about it, or the company has failed to ask. Therefore, when a Promotion is mentioned, they say “Why Not” because they don’t have a reason to say “No”. “Why Not” is not the answer that gets an organization or team to evolve, to greatness, and to its Definition of Success”. “Why Not” means it didn’t make sense for them to turn down extra money… and let’s face it, It’s hard for an employee to go home and tell their husband, wife, or family they’d rather stay where they are and reject more income. “Why Not” may accept a title nonchalantly or out of ego… both can be a problem for you, their team, and the organization!
Lastly, If you remember my 5 Types of Employees… The Steady Streams don’t want promotions. They actually like their job, where they are, and what they do. They don’t want management’s 200+ emails per day, the extra responsibilities, staying late, or leading people. Forcing or allowing a promotion to a Steady Stream takes a great person out of their spot, reduces the value of their new position, and fills the empty hole with an unknown. Where’s the positive and growth in that. Instead, will the organization create ways to care for and reward Steady Streams for being where they want to be, where they strive, and where they benefit the company most? As an organization, explore what’d you’d be willing to give, marry it with want they want and need, and BOOM… you have happier employees; enhancing your Leadership & Work/Life Harmony and theirs!
Now that you understand the potential Pros & Concerns, what are the 4 Ways to maintain the promotion earned?
Through the process of being promoted, be clear about the organization’s expectations of your role:
- What are you actually getting paid to do?
- What are the priorities of your new role?
- Where do you need to focus your attention first?
As the organization, be clear in this regard and ask powerful questions to ensure your employee knows they are trusted and have your support when needed. As the employee, be sure to be clear about what you like about the role, your concerns, what you wish to learn, and how you can best ask questions to facilitate the learning process (to who and how: email, call, zoom meetings). These questions and topics are important as it separates you from just another promotion. “Busy” is going to happen and you don’t want your organization’s “Busy” to be your demise causing you to dislike or hate your new position and or your people to dislike or turn on you due to your ineffectiveness. Remember, true leaders make their coaches coach them!
Also, too many times, newly promoted employees enjoy staying in the weeds. I have the honor of doing 1-on-1 Growth Sessions with promoted executives and they tend to say these exact words… “I want to be or like being in the weeds with my team”. I said and did the exact same thing when I received my first promotion… it’s a sign of a good person, but also the first sign of your eventual burn-out!
Many employees study for, went to school for, and applied for the job they were originally hired to do. Therefore, it makes sense they like the job they’re doing. Then they get promoted and the duties of the day change. Many employees want to hold on to some of their old responsibilities; taking them with them into their promotion. They want to still be in the weeds with their team. It’s noble and sometimes necessary, but not all of the time! You get paid the help your people best become leaders who manage their own weeds; allowing you to focus on the duties your organization mentioned when you accepted your new role.
The big concern is… as time passes, you will never have less work to do! Your duties will increase, along with the tasks/weeds you’re holding onto, and your company will become used to you doing it all… and off you go to Burn-Out World; with no one to blame but yourself… Be Mindful!
Through the promotion process, you’ll be thrusted into a new world… a new world of expectations, decisions, and people. Perhaps you are eager to meet the leaders and managers in your new inner circle or maybe you’re anxious or putt-off by the experience. The fact is… here you are!
Take advantage of the connections; reach out to introduce yourself, say hello to the organization, ask questions, and make yourself open to the advice and mentorship of people that have been there before you. Some advice may be gems; given by “Inspired & Motivated” leaders within your organizations… while other advice may be given by burnt-out or bored-out managers. It’s your job as a leader to marry your vision with the organization’s vision, be open to advice, decipher, and apply accordingly.
When you choose to connect; don’t overthink it… it can be done easily face-to-face or by an introductory personal or group email. “Hello Everyone and Happy Monday, I wanted to connect and introduce myself. I’m excited to begin in my new position as ___________ and I’m eager to be of impact moving forward as a part of the team. I look forward to officially getting to meet you and welcome any advice you can share to help my transition. Thank You and enjoy your day!”. Feel free to fine-tune this in your own words for email or in-person purposes and enjoy the journey!
This short and powerful Preface Statement will enhance your leadership & work/life harmony now and in the future! Either you have been promoted and inherited a new team or you’ve been promoted and are now leading your ex-coworkers and friends. A tough spot… I’ve been there! You may still want to be friends and some may still desire to be friends with you… but it may now be against company policy to fraternize outside of work, they may have hard feelings you got the promotion instead of them, they may have difficulty respecting your authority, or you may have difficulty being in a position of leadership with old friends or new people. Either way… there you are. So, what to do?
I call it “The World’s Best Preface Statement” and it sounds like this:
“I’m excited to be here in this new role. I know everyone here is a professional and we are going to have some great wins and we will be sure to celebrate them. However, at some point, I may have to say something that’s hard for you to hear but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t. Is that going to be ok?”
This can be done in a group or one-on-one. 99.9% of the time, people will say “Yes”, “Sure”, or nod in confirmation. Beware of the employee that says “No”! You have now prefaced you have and expect wins… define what a “Win” is and be sure to have plans on how to celebrate them. You’ve also prefaced tough times are coming and as the leader… you’ll address them! When that time comes… it may be six days from now or six months from now… it sounds like this:
“Hi ________, can I have a minute. Do you remember the time I said I may have to say something that’s hard for you to hear, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t?”. You will watch them affirm and emotionally and physically brace for impact! Then simply say, “You Ready?”. Most people smile or even giggle a bit… then you lay It on them. What they’re doing well, your observation/concern, and work together to develop a best plan to move forward.
Lastly, thank them for the conversation and email them the plan… protecting you, the plan, and your organization! This process is part of my Leader’s 7; understanding your people’s Language, as a section in my newest book 7 Ways to Lead!
Personal Leadership will enhance your influence, impact, and leadership before, during, and after your promotion! It’s how you choose to show up to your work, your life, and your relationships daily… with your head up, eyes up, smiling, and willing to DO your best, and BE your best. Some of your people will love it, some will like it, and believe me… some people within your team or organization will hate it; they don’t believe you’re really are that way, they think you’re fake, or butt-kissing for the Bigger-Bosses. Don’t let this stop you… those people tend to have their own misery going on and cannot understand or believe how you can be so joyful, motivated, and winning in life. I’ve been there and had bosses tell me I was too happy… Yes, this actually happened!
You’re job, when promoted, isn’t to perform and dance for the happy employees or to prove anything to the grouches… it’s to be consistent:
- Remain consistent in knowing and fulfilling the expectations of the organization
- Remain Consistent in creating win-wins
- Remain Consistent in your Personal Leadership. The “Inspired & Motivated” and “Ready” employees will follow. Your job is to stay consistent, so when the employees on the fence or grouches are ready… you’re still there and even better!
- Remain Consistent in your Daily Leadership Skills and Work/Life Harmony; being sure you do self-care so your tank is full enough to be the leader, significant other, and parent you need to be!
“Busy” is going to happen and you don’t want “Busy” to be your demise causing you to dislike or hate your new position or your people to turn on you due to your ineffectiveness” – Andre Young
Written By: Andre Young
Ready for a better work culture, improved interactions between leaders and employees, and fewer headaches professionally and personally? Enhancing Leadership and Work/Life Harmony in your Company, your Teams, and Employees with Andre Young’s Speaking Engagements and Leadership Training Programs (on-site, online, or virtual)!