I often write and create videos related to leadership and part of that deals with promotions within organizations. Like with anything, they’re positives and concerns. The positives are people are moving up, the company is growing, and on the outside, things can appear to be successful and thriving. The concern is most employees aren’t promoted because they know how to lead; rather because they did one thing really well or may have outlasted the knuckleheads! They sold a million dollars’ worth of product and now they’re the sales manager! Or, the company needs bodies and your most senior worker is promoted to a position of leadership… I have concerns! In past articles and videos, I’ve addressed this from the perspective of the person receiving the promotion and what they can do:
- Ask and Know what the company’s new expectations of them are!
- Asking and Knowing how far your authority spans!
- Enhance your superpower!
- Delegate like a leader!
- And… Network below you, at your level, above your level, and beyond!
Today, I’d like to share from the vantage point of the person doing the promoting. It’s easy to think and believe that your best worker would be nothing but a best fit for the promotion you have in mind. They’re great at their job, have been doing it for a while, you like them, other people like them, and they seem happy to be a part of the team and do their task. As great at this is… this is a HUGE part of the problem!
They may like being a part of that team, doing those tasks, may not see themselves as a leader, and accept the promotion due to the raise, the security, the ego fulfillment, and the simplest reason that it’s difficult to tell your significant other and family you’re going to turn down such a thing! I believe everyone CAN be a leader; when they choose to be, choose to exhibit great personal leadership on a consistent basis, and has the necessary leadership tools in their toolbox to lead all types of people… not just the ones they like or are their definition of “easy”. However, the truth is… once promoted… they are no longer doing their old job; they’re doing the people that did their old job + additional tasks they may not be familiar with or enjoy as much + coworking with leaders across all departments = Leadership!
Believe me, it’s easy to make the mistake of promoting someone simply because they’re great at their job… I had a thought the other day and caught myself! I’m lucky to have the best Assistant in the world. She handles my daily schedule, my travel, my flights, Agreements, and video editing… Wow! As the business grows and there is more to do, I want to be sure I’m not overwhelming her. Therefore, I had the thought of hiring another person, having my Assistant pass off certain responsibilities, and have her train and guide the new employee. Although, I’m still the top leader… didn’t I just give her a leadership role, possibly a promotion of sorts, with no knowledge of if she wants to do it, comfortable with doing it, and just because she’s great at what she does, doesn’t mean she can teach it great, lead it great, and oversee it great! Crisis adverted… slow down… think… plan… and lead. So, what to do when you’d like to promote someone, but want to do so based not only on the candidates’ skill but also their capacity to connect, influence, impact, and protect?
I’m sure you already have a “Who” in mind. Perhaps they are the right one for the promotion… maybe not! Perhaps it’s the person you’re looking over because they’re quiet, or a grouch, or they’re rough around the edges. I’m not suggesting you make a headache for yourself, the team, or allow a promotion that may cost you your job. I am suggesting we look at why the person is good at the current job their doing and would than make them a great candidate for a leadership position. Are they working well with others, collaborating, working great across departments, learns quickly, asks for help, etc.? Or, are they good at their job and struggle with others, coworkers and even you are hesitant to speak to them, they get the job done but abrasively and with unethical tactics? You see how this can be an issue… both candidates have same skill and production, but way different behaviors and connection ability!
My favorite employee to hire and promote is two-fold: Do they possess the 3P’s and do they want the promotion? Anyone I bring into my organization, work with, or promote has to be Positive, Passionate, and Productive. Either one without the other two is a problem! Secondly, do they want the promotion and why? Let’s face it, most people don’t know how to say no to more money, more power, and perhaps more stability! It’s hard for man or woman to go home to their significant other and say they turned down a job that was going to help the family and their future.
Therefore, as a leader… share what the expectations of the new job are, ask what they like about it, why they want it, what they’re most excited about, and most anxious about. This gives YOU better direction and THEM more insight. It would be a shame to lose a great employee only to gain a terrible leader. If it’s best they stay put, what other ways can you reward their greatness without promoting them to negatively impact the team and company?
In the example I shared earlier about my Assistant… based off the conversation, maybe it makes sense I add to my staff, relieve her of certain tasks, and train both Assistants as a team. Or, based on our conversation, she accepts the promotion with new tasks… which will include leading the new Assistant. Here’s a side tip related to promotions: It’s so important to hire and promote those that possess the 3P’s… because it’s hard to get employees to want to move up the ladder when Top Leaders look miserable, negative, lack passion, and nothing ever gets done… Be Mindful!
When you’re considering or offering promotions, be mindful of what’s needed on both ends. Leadership is about creating a great marriage… Marrying what you want to do and give with what the person receiving it needs most right now! So, what do you need from the person getting promoted? What does your team from the person getting promoted? What does the organization want to get out of this promotion? What does this prospect need most to be successful in the promotion? There’s always going to be some learning and adjusting on the fly… however, the things you’re aware of; what’s your plan to properly address them, coach them, mentor them, and train them to lead an elite team?
I’ve found the BIG 5 BIG Mainstays for those getting promoted to know are:
- The Leader’s 7: The 7 Languages your people need, want, and benefit most hearing from leadership: What are your people’s top two: Goodie-Time, Quality Minutes, Recognition & Affirmation, Knowledge and/or Advancement, Incentives, Flexibility, or Respect?
- The Leader’s Nicely: How do your people learn best – Auditory, Visual, Hand-On, or Written
- The Leader’s 3: What’s your Vision for your team and your Vision Factors (The 3-5 Things that when done consistently, the Vision takes care of itself), The Expectations, and The Rules!
- A Leader’s 1-on-1 Meetings: Schedule and have your 1-on-1 Meetings like your leadership depends on it! What’s their Positive of the Week, What do they want to get out of the meeting, Mesh Goals… what do you want to get out of the meeting and make yourself aware of their list, develop a plan for the next month, and ask what their biggest takeaway was!
- A Leader’s Meetings: Be sure your meetings are punctual, purposeful, and productive… constantly building off the last!
In other blogs, videos, and my next book, The Leader’s Toolbox, I share about A Leader’s 30… the first 30 days of a new promotion or entering a new job as a leader. The 5 Mainstays exist in a more formatted order of how to use them, introductions, meetings, 1-on-1’s, and how to Reveal a new day to your new team… Be sure to check them out and enjoy your Leadership Journey!
“It would be a shame to promote a great employee, only to gain a terrible leader … Be Mindful!” – Andre Young
Written by: Andre Young
Take away the pain in your company with Andre Young’s Leadership & Work/Life Harmony Trainings and Speaking Engagements! Are your leaders and new promotions struggling to lead, connect, and impact? Are your more Front-Line Employees stuck in Negativetown, Rutsville, and Burnoutville? Or, is everything “fine” and a powerful boost would be great idea and perfect timing? Click www.youevolvingnow.com to find out more, connect, and customize a Training to best impact your leaders, employees, team, and organization!