A Leader’s Too Valuable; The 2 Standpoints to not Getting Passed Over for Being Too Valuable at Your Current Position!

I recently heard a horror story about an employee that was working hard, arriving early, staying late, and doing all the extras only to be told their production made them too great to promote; therefore someone else received the promotion and title they desired. I know they’re many other horrors people face in the world and perhaps “horror” is a bit intense of a word, but for this employee and many others out there this is a true horror story! I often write and video about the various types of employees… those that want to move up and those that want to stay where they are, but are promoted anyway… however this is the first time exploring the employee that wants a promotion and is passed over for being too good! There are two big factors here… The Boss that may be unaware the employee’s actions are driven by a desire for a promotion, title, etc. The second is the employee’s ability to lead up, verbalize professional aspirations, and take more control over the professional landscape. So, what to do?

The Leader’s Standpoint!

The Why

I once conducted my Evolve & Lead Training Program at an amazing company and had the opportunity to be there several times to meet their leaders and front-line staff. Every time I was there, I was blown away by one employee’s work-ethic. The company also raved about her; that she was quadrupling the production of her peers daily. This sounds wonderful, until I asked if anyone knew why she was working the way she was, and no one had an answer!

When I spoke with the employee, she mentioned she liked the work, wasn’t really interested in speaking with others, stayed to herself, and got the job done! Like I always say, there are pros and concerns to everything. The Pro is she worked really hard and is great for production, quotas, and metrics. The Concern is, she’s operating solo, not making connections, and there’s little mentorship or teaching going on… from the leaders to her and her to others!

The What!

This is simple, what does your “Too Valuable Employee” want to get out of working so hard? My Leader’s 7 shares the 7 Professional Languages of Employees… Goodie-Time, Quality Minutes, Recognition & Affirmation, Knowledge and/or Advancement, Incentives, Flexibility, and Respect! Everyone likes all 7, however each person has a top two at their core… and it can change over time.

When I asked the employee, let’s call her Ann so I can stop calling her the employee. Ann stated she was not interested in a promotion; rather an opportunity to do the same job but to move and live in the western part of the United States. Wow, who would have known! Does anyone else know this, her immediate boss, her boss’s boss, HR, anyone… and does this same job exist where she’d like to go?

The How!

As a leader, you’ve figured out why your employee is working so hard, what they want, it now comes down to HOW you can help! In this case, the job Ann wanted did exist out west for the company, but would be a bit different. She needed a bit more training which the company would be happy to offer! Of course, it would be hard to lose her production, but a great opportunity for Ann, the company overall, and her coworkers to see such a thing CAN and DOES happen!

It was now Ann’s job to follow through with the training or not. As you’re reading this, it would also be ideal to partner Ann with coworkers or in-coming employees to provide shadowing opportunities so Ann’s hard work and work ethic doesn’t disappear when she leaves! Remember to always get your New & Unknown Employees around your Inspired & Motivated Employees as quickly as humanly possible!

Note: As a leader, be mindful to share with the employee how their duties, day-to-day, and expectations will change with the promotion or change they’re seeking. Many times, employees are enamored with the raise, the title, and the perceived job security… but not the actual new duties and what it really entails!

I wish I had a happy ending to share with you. Upon my program ending with the company, Ann hadn’t followed through with the training and unfortunately developed a toxic friendship with a coworker and her production dipped significantly. It’s my sincere hope and prayer she rebounded and is living the life of her dreams both professionally and personally! The real point is… as a leader, do your part of knowing Why, What, and How… providing every professional and personal opportunity you can think of; allowing you to put your head on the pillow at night in peace and make your organization elite and a gold-standard its field! Some of your employees will be ready right now, some won’t. The job of a Leader is… when the “Not Ready” get ready they know where to go and you’ll be even better when they come!

The Employee’s Standpoint!


I remember my employee days and many times it seemed the only time you spoke with your boss was during the initial interview process or when you were in trouble! I know this isn’t true everywhere, as I’ve also worked jobs with very cool bosses that were present and not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty with front-line workers. However, in both instances, I don’t remember ever conversing about my professional aspirations, what I liked most about the job, what I liked least, my ideas, etc.

Great leaders and company have their 1-on-1 Meetings and don’t cancel or reschedule them 1,900 times! However, as an employee… it’s important you have some skin in the game and advocate for yourself and your future. Request a regular meeting about what they need more from you, what you’d like from the company, what options are available, where the gaps are and your suggested solutions, etc. I don’t promise the outcome you’re looking for, but I do promise you’ll find out very quickly who you work for and if it’s best to stay!


Continue is three-fold! Whether conversing goes great or horrible… CONTINUE doing great work with a positive attitude! When there’s a possibility to get what you desire, and the blueprint is provided… keep doing great! When you’re dejected or frustrated… I call it the Do More Rule… Never do less because people around you won’t do more!

I’ve seen it happen in sports, on the job, and in starting a business. It’s easy to do more when you’re getting what you want… however at some point, people get comfortable and coast. This coasting tends to catch up with everyone and never in a good way! I’ve seen teammates, coworkers, and entrepreneurs (and even myself when I was younger) start doing less because they weren’t getting more… and that’s dangerous; as it doesn’t take much to start a new habit of apathy, negative gossip, and eventually you’ve been recruited by the Dark-Side… Be Mindful!

The second part of Continue is… if you aren’t promoted due to high production; how do you best want to continue in your current position? More money, additional responsibility with a new title, additional time off, what perks makes sense for you and the company since you’ve proven to be as valuable as you are?

Lastly, keep in mind, the promotion you’re seeking may not be the job you like or that matches your skillset. Be sure what you desire fits who you are, what you want your day-to-day to look like, and your Superpower!


Through your hard work and production, people see you!  It’s imperative to stay positive, make connections, converse, and keep the connections. Why? You never know where your boss and higher-ups may end up… and the opportunity they’ll be empowered to extend to you!

Connections can also be made outside of work… use your social media to share your work, the passion you have for your job, take pics while doing your job (if it’s allowed and safe), share testimonials from those you’ve served, say great things about your boss, your coworkers, and team, join professional groups online and in your community to set yourself apart. You know like I know, it’s not always what you know, but who you know and who knows you… and now through social media and Remote & Hybrid Work you can easily know the whole world!

“The promotion you’re seeking may not be the job you like or that matches your skillset. Be sure what you desire fits who you are, what you want your day-to-day to look like, and your Superpower…  Be Mindful!”  – Andre Young

Written by: Andre Young

Take the pain out of your organization by enhancing Leadership & Work/Life Harmony for your Leaders, Employees, and Team with Andre Young’s Leadership Trainings & Speaking Engagements! Click  www.youevolvingnow.com to connect, chat, and customize an impact for your company today!!!

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