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Fill in this short survey to find out:

  • 1. Have you requested a promotion in the last year?
  • 2. Have you ever been rejected for a promotion?
  • 3. Have you ever been offered a promotion?
  • 4. Has a co-worker at the same level ever been promoted instead of you?
  • 5. Has there ever been a position you applied for and didn’t get?
  • 6. Are you hesitant about asking for a promotion for fear of your boss’s response?
  • 7. Have you ever left an organization because you were passed up for promotion there?
  • 8. Do you know if your work environment values you and your work?
  • 9. Do you think that you deserve a promotion?
  • 10. Do you promote your work and yourself at work?
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What should I say if my interviewer asks me why I was rejected?

You’ve known it’s time to move on to greener pastures, but when you think of the interviews you’ll have to endure, there’s one dreaded question that keeps you shackled to your seat:

 

Why weren’t you promoted at your current job?

 

Over the last 35 years, I’ve seen how missing out on productive job promotion interview answers to this question has ruined the careers of many a middle manager. On one hand, it can paralyze otherwise ambitious managers from moving on. On the other hand, managers who come unprepared for this question are destined for the rejection pile. Here’s why:

 

1.    They come out as liars.

Believe it or not, many managers compromise on the truth. In the back of their minds, they’re thinking, “If I tell them that I didn’t get the last promotion at my current job, why would they consider hiring me?” But the problem with not telling the truth is that it shows all over - through the words we use, our intonation, and our body language. And the interviewer is certainly no dummy. They’ll pick up on it right away and will toss you right out of the door.

 

2.    They don’t show self-control.

Some managers, rather than concentrating on productive job promotion interview answers, use this interview as an opportunity to lash out at their company for not promoting them. As such, they spend time putting down their current company. If managers come into the interview charged with anger, even if they consciously try not to bad mouth their company, it’ll still come out. Such managers come off as pretentious and haughty, which of course results in instant rejection.

 

So instead of missing out on yet another promotion, make sure you internalize these two key points about your own situation:

 

1.  You were rejected for a promotion you thought you deserved. Yes, someone else got your job - but it could’ve been for many different reasons. For example, maybe the other candidate had been at the company for much time and had been waiting longer for this opportunity. Or perhaps the company had other considerations you’ll never even know about or even understand. What’s important to take away is that as soon as you were seen as a suitable candidate, in the end, the consideration of whom to choose wasn’t a matter of good or bad. It was an issue of more suitable for that particular instance. Therefore, the fact that you were actually a final candidate is a testament to your abilities and talents.

 

2.  The company you’re interviewing at is looking for “the perfect candidate.” You might or might not be the one. But there are criteria for the position. And what determines whether you’ll get this job is the match between what the company is looking for and what you bring to the table. That’s it. In fact, there’s probably very little connection with why you were rejected from the last job.  

 

 

So with this insight, follow these two steps as you prepare and go for your interview:

 

1.  Thoroughly familiarize yourself with the job requirements and then work out which ones you meet and which ones you don’t. Rather than fretting over what’s missing, prepare to highlight the requirements you do meet. Also, take a look beyond the listed requirements. Perhaps there are qualities or experience you bring that would make a valuable contribution to the job? Identify these and make note of them. But please remember: if you find that you neither meet the basic requirements nor can offer any added value, consider rethinking your decision to apply in the first place.

 

2.  If you think you’ve got a fighting chance, prepare a short elevator pitch about yourself that highlights your relevant qualities and experience so that you’ll be ready to tell about them in the interview. Here’s an example: let’s say the company is looking for a candidate with proven experience in complex project management (and you know that complex projects have been an achilles heal for the company). You’d begin your elevator pitch stressing your expertise in managing complex projects, citing relevant experience, such as solving critical bottlenecks or saving key projects from doom. In your elevator pitch, you’d include how you’d been shortlisted as a candidate for a similar position at your previous organization, which you see as a testament to your suitability for this job. However, in the end, since you didn’t get the position and you didn’t see any similar opportunities on the horizon, you decided to move on. Please note the importance of bringing up the fact that you weren’t promoted and to “spin it” as I’ve described above. You don’t want to let your interviewer think you’re hiding any skeletons in your closet.


Finally

 

Dealing with the embarrassment of having to tell an interviewer about a failure can paralyze the best of us. But if you want to manage your career, you can’t let embarrassment take over. Instead, concentrate on gaining a sound understanding of the job requirements and how you can meet them. This, coupled with true belief in yourself, will give you more than a fighting chance at achieving the job you deserve.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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I didn't get promoted: Should I stay or should I go?

Originally posted on the Noomii Career Blog.

 

That’s the number one question managers ask themselves after being rejected for promotion. In most cases, the knee-jerk answer is “go” especially if you were sure you had that promotion in the bag.

 

But this isn’t always the best decision for your corporate development career path. You see, deciding whether to stay or go depends on so many factors. But the point I want to get across now is that you should make this decision while in a rational state of mind.

When you find out you’re not getting promoted (or even anticipating this might be the case), your mind automatically becomes very emotionally charged - almost like having your very own state of emergency.

 

So it’s no surprise that your knee-jerk reaction is to high-tail it away from the danger zone.  And leaving your job might give you the feeling of regaining control - getting back on the saddle, so to speak. But in reality,  it’s really just escaping a very unpleasant situation and will be detrimental to your corporate development career path.

 

Instead, it’s better to face your emotions, as, like it or not, you’re going to encounter what I call the Big Seven. You might experience some stronger than others, but they’ll all be there. So here’s the lineup, not necessarily in this order:

 

Surprise

Shock

Anger

Disappointment

Frustration

Embarrassment

Helplessness

 

The worst part of the Big Seven is that you just can’t control them - their appearance, their intensity, and how much they’ll affect your rational decision making.

 

What you can do is learn to handle them. In general, this means letting them play out without trying to fight them. If you do try to combat them, you’ll find yourself expending a lot more energy on the battle than if you’d just let yourself feel them. Don’t forget that getting rejected for a promotion is a traumatic event. You have all of the legitimacy in the world to experience these feelings. That’s about as natural as natural can get.

 

Most of the managers I’ve worked with have told me that their feeling of embarrassment is the hardest to handle. Embarrassment can cause you to feel like you want the ground to open wide and swallow you up. But what’s even worse is that embarrassment can cause you to make the worst choices. Such bad decisions are commonly based on what your bosses, subordinates, family and friends might be thinking about you, instead of what’s really good for your career.

 

I wish I could give you a magic pill that would cause embarrassment to vanish, but there’s just no such thing. What I can do, though, is reassure you that feeling embarrassed is natural. But the real question is what you decide to do with it: allow it to control you or to let it play out and then make your decisions rationally?

 

I hope it’s clear by now that you shouldn’t make any decisions while feeling embarrassed - or any of the other Big Seven. It’ll just cause further damage, both professionally and probably personally.

 

Instead, the thing to do is to let yourself feel the Big Seven. Validate your feelings by talking to someone you trust and letting them know how tough things are for you. Or let yourself work through the Big Seven while taking a series of long walks or energizing runs. Maybe acknowledge the Big Seven while reading a good book or meditating. For others, it’s a fancy meal or some good old-fashioned comfort food that does the trick.

 

When it comes to handling career disappointment, cool-headed, rational decisions are the way to go.

 

And always remember:

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

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Your co-worker got YOUR promotion? Here what you need to do.

It’s devastating losing the promotion you deserved. It’s an unexpected turn in your corporate development career path. But things can get worse: watching someone else get it. And even worse than that: they’re less qualified than you.

 

As you witness this disaster, your blood pressure rises, your head begins to spin, and you whip yourself into defense mode. And the first thought that comes to mind is: “If that’s the kind of talent my company appreciates, then why in the world am I still hanging around here?” And then you want to just hot tail it out as soon as possible.

 

But you know what they say about being making quick decisions. Deep down inside, you know that this isn’t the time to do anything rash - especially one that could cause so much damage - veering you off your corporate development career path forever.

 

What you really need to do now is take a few deep breaths. Get out of the office. Meet up with some friends. Take a relaxing walk outside. Cook yourself your favorite meal. Do something to distance yourself from the bad news.

 

Once you’ve cooled down and are ready to get back on your horse, here are two crucial questions you have to answer as soon as possible:

 

Why didn’t I get the promotion?

Why did my co-worker get it?

 

Here’s how to go about answering them:




 

1.    Why didn’t I get the promotion?

 

The answer to this question is pivotal to your career. It’s the only piece of information that will help you decide whether you should stay at your current company or hit the road. But for the time being, knowing the reasons why you didn’t get this promotion is key for understanding what you need to work on in order to achieve that next promotion. Unfortunately, you probably weren’t provided with a step-by-step plan when you met with your boss. That’s why I’ve developed a brief questionnaire that will help you understand the reasons you didn’t get this particular promotion. After filling out the questionnaire, you’ll receive a short, objective report that will help you analyze the current behaviors that might’ve led to your being rejected. Think of the report as a blueprint for your next promotion plan.


 

2.    Why did my co-worker get the promotion?

 

Understanding exactly why your co-worker got the promotion is just as important as knowing why you didn’t get it. By finding out why your co-worker was promoted, you’ll gain insight into the most important competencies valued by your organization. These are competencies you might’ve missed out on or perhaps always felt were trivial or even counterproductive. But the truth is that the decision makers in your company evidently felt they were important enough as part of the criteria for promotion. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to agree with these competencies. And no one says you have to adopt them. That’s up to you, of course. But at least you should be aware of the game rules of the organization you’re at now.

 

Speaking of the organization, one thing you have to realize now is that all eyes are on you.

 

Everyone in your organization is watching to see how you take the bad news. Instead of giving them a show, read on to find out what you should be doing.

 

Face the person who got the promotion.

 

Make an appointment with your victor. When you arrive, shake their hand, let them know you’re happy for them, and sincerely offer your wholehearted support.

 

Rise above the crowd.

 

Probably one of the hardest parts of dealing with rejection is hearing how shocked everyone is and that it should’ve been your promotion. Be on high alert for such “comfort” and distance yourself from it as much as possible. Instead, declare that you respect the company’s decision. If, in private, you’d like to sulk a bit, that’s certainly natural and even desirable. But public display of self-pity or revenge are completely out of bounds.

 

Concerning your subordinates, remember that you serve as their role model and it is your job to show them how an effective manager deals with disappointment. The worst thing you can do for your team now is to introduce a sense pessimism, which will just work against you as you try to pick up the pieces. So instead of conceding to the feeling failure, use this disappointment as an opportunity to show your team how strong and resilient you really are.

 

4

Final thoughts

Getting back on the horse after losing out on a promotion is probably one of the toughest challenges you’ll ever face in your career. Once you’ve had a chance to process what’s happened, it’s time to make a game plan that will help you seize the next promotion opportunity that comes along. By finding out why you weren’t promoted, you’ll be able to meet with your boss and honestly discuss the specific behaviors you might need to change - so that you’ll succeed the next time around.

 

Good luck!

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.







 

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When is it time to leave my job?

After being a rejected for a promotion, one of the first questions that might come to mind is if it’s time to leave. This question is a biggie and shouldn’t be taken lightly because your decision could be one of the major factors affecting career development for you. So please...I repeat, please...do not let your emotions take part in your decision. Instead, consider one issue and one issue only: What would best help me get promoted?

 

Obviously, one of the factors affecting career development that might help you get promoted is leaving the company. But this would only be if you were told that your next promotion hinges on one of the following actions on your part:

 

1.    going against your grain;

2.    achieving mission impossible.

 

I’ll give you examples of each of these:

 

Going against your grain

Let’s say that during the meeting in which your were rejected, your boss tells that if you would just take more time to socialize with the team, more people would get to know you and then you’d be a prime candidate for promotion. For your boss, socializing with the team means having a beer after work a few times a week or meeting for a run on Saturday mornings. But for you, more socializing with the team equals less time with your family. You already spend a tremendous amount of time at work and you really look forward to evenings and weekends with your family. So extra time with your co-workers would just go against your grain  - and you’d just end up frustrated with both yourself and the company. In such a case, it would be appropriate to leave the company, as the only way up would be “out of bounds” as far as you’re concerned. The wiser thing would be to find a company where extracurricular activities are not part of the criteria for promotion.


 

Achieving mission impossible

You’ve been told that you have a good chance of being promoted, but in order to do so, you have to increase sales by 20%. While this might seem doable on paper, to achieve this realistically, you’d actually need another two or three sales associates under you as well as a significant budget increase. When you mention these conditions, you’re informed that the company just can’t afford these at the moment - but that if things turn around, you’ll get them. You, of course recognize, that you’ve just been given mission impossible - literally. It’s simply impossible to increase sales by 20% given the current resources. It’s at this point that you should realize that a promotion will never happen for you under these current circumstances. Time to find a place where you’re provided with the appropriate resources to meet your goals.

 

While I’ve given two cases where it might be wise to seek greener pastures, it’s imperative that you analyze your specific situation - as emotionlessly as possible. If, indeed, you’ve found that leaving your current company will increase your chances of being promoted in the future, then by all means, begin making the move now.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

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Discover your hidden potential

Originally published on Career Experts

 

Successful career goals for managers require that we constantly improve ourselves, whether it’s how to increase productivity, run our meetings, or manage our teams. The good news about always improving is that we end up with super skills that would require others years of experience to achieve. But surprisingly, our quest for improvement can actually prevent us from getting that next promotion.

 

Sounds backwards, doesn’t it? After all, we’ve been taught from an early age that improvement is one of the most important keys to standing out from the crowd.

 

Indeed, this is true. But consider this example. You’re a wiz at planning and running meetings. No one in your organization can do it like you, as you’ve perfected meetings to an art - from creating reader-friendly agendas and accommodating all of the participants to following up on the open issues. In fact, when someone in your organization wants to hold a high-stakes meeting, you’re the address.

 

Of course, you weren’t born with these meeting super skills. You’ve been perfecting them, bit by bit, for years now. And the more compliments you’ve received over the years, the more energy you’ve put into becoming the company’s resident Meeting Meister.

 

But let’s consider for a moment what being Meeting Meister might actually have cost you. While you were investing time perfecting l’art du meeting, were you perhaps denying other talents and skills from emerging?

 

For example, what about that side of you that likes to sit alone and come up with crazy ideas? When was the last time you gave yourself the time and space to just brainstorm? Or have you only allowed such ideas to come up within the framework of a well-oiled meeting?

 

My point here is that in pursuing improvement, sometimes we find ourselves stuck in certain managerial patterns, earning titles such as “the best at”, often at the expense of developing innate talents we’ve inadvertently muzzled.

 

If it were our only goal to remain, for example, the Meeting Meister, then this wouldn’t be a problem. But it is, because decision makers want to see well-rounded managers, not just specialists.

 

And so those managers who are simply known as “the best at…” are eventually left behind, sentenced to life in Middle Management Land.

 

Preventing such a life sentence requires developing your innate potential so that you can strive towards well-roundedness. I wish there were a magic formula to find out what your potential is, but alas, there isn’t.

 

Nevertheless, no need to despair because there is a surefire way of finding out what your potential is on your own: give it time and space. Once you let your potential out to breathe, it’ll blossom and become a natural way of shaping how you do things.

 

I’ll give you an example. Let’s go back to the Meeting Meister. Remember that they are good at planning meetings and making sure everyone participates. But what would happen if the Meeting Meister exercised a more “entrepreneurial spirit” and called an impromptu gathering, limiting the time people could speak? One outcome I’m familiar with is that more ideas might be generated in a shorter timeframe. And as far as the Meeting Meister is concerned, this would naturally feed into their innate talent of quick brainstorming.

 

So the result here is both a Meeting Meister and an entrepreneurial type of manager, all rolled into one - a much more well-rounded candidate for promotion.

 

Again, I can’t provide a one size fits all solution for everyone, but if you begin by reducing some of the habits that come most naturally to you, you’ll begin to discover hidden potential you’ve had all along.

 

Here are some key points to remember:

 

 - Successful career goals for managers include constant improvement.

 

 - An often neglected part of improvement is the hidden potential we’ve all got...

    we just have to find it.

 

 - Give yourself time and space to discover your hidden potential by reducing

    automatic behaviors.

 

 - A well-rounded manager always tops the promotion list.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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You were sure that the promotion was all yours, but your boss had other plans

Originally posted on the Noomii Career Blog.

 

You were sure that the promotion was all yours, but your boss had other plans.

Research shows that only about 30% of employees are actually satisfied with their job. And having been a management consultant for over 35 years, I have helped navigate many career low points with my clients. But rest assured, career dissatisfaction is natural and part of the game. However, there are certain crises that can rock the confidence of even the ablest of managers - so much that it can lead to career devastation: being rejected for a promotion you thought was in the bag.

 

Unfortunately, very few managers ultimately recover from such a crisis, which is part of the reason that only about 35% of managers are optimistic about achieving such tempting career advancement.

 

Imagine this. You’ve been a model employee your whole career - not only bringing in results but also a real team player. You hear about an opening for a job that seems as if it was tailored just for you. You apply for the opening, knowing that you’ve got that tempting career advancement nailed and...boom, you’re rejected. In one minute, your world is turned upside down and your career, your aspirations and most of all your self confidence, all come tumbling down. And, like in the famous TV commercial, you just can’t get up.

 

Or maybe you could’ve avoided this fall by finding out if you were really promotion material in the first place. To discover if you are, I’ve designed a very short questionnaire that, when answered honestly and from the gut, will provide you with an accurate picture of your readiness for promotion. To get immediate feedback about your potential for promotion, click here to take the survey. You’ll find out right away what you need to improve to seize that next opportunity.

 

So let’s review what talented managers like you might be thinking when they receive the shocking news that they haven’t been promoted:

 

“But I’ve delivered such great results.”

“But I’ve been praised so much.”

“But I’m appreciated all around.”

“But everyone says I’m so talented.”

“But I’d been getting signals that a promotion could be around the corner.”

 

All of these thoughts are completely legitimate. No one is saying that you are being untruthful or even exaggerating. In fact, you wouldn’t have gotten this far without these special qualities.

 

But here’s the thing. Excelling at your current job doesn’t create an automatic passkey into your next job. In fact, the more you advance, the harder it will be to develop the kinds of qualities you’ll need for that next promotion. No matter where you are in your career, you have to keep developing other aspects so that you’ll be able to handle the complexities of more senior positions. That’s why it’s important to understand, at all times, where you stand.

 

The first step is to take this short survey and to receive a clear picture of your chances for promotion. Once you know what you have to do, it’s just a matter of embarking on the journey.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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Discover the real reason your boss isn't promoting you .


 

You’ve been passed up for promotion so many times that you’ve stopped counting. Congratulations (kind of). You’re actually in (not so) good company. Over 70% of managers vying for promotion are just as frustrated as you are. So the obvious question is how you can become like the lucky 30%. Is it indeed luck? Not a chance.

 

To discover the real reason your boss isn’t promoting you, it’s going to take more than just listening to the usual lines you get in your annual performance review. Performance reviews are high-stake meetings and everyone’s nerves are on edge - not to mention the multiple factors affecting career development. So communication is stressed on both ends. Your boss is trying to be as diplomatic as possible, often hiding what they really feel and you aren’t very receptive - more focussed on when the nightmare will finally end. And the bottom line is that you leave your performance review both frustrated and confused.

 

But that’s no way to manage your career. Moving up at work can’t be based on guesswork. You need reliable information - and it’s definitely out there. My point here is that you won’t get it from your performance review.

 

I’ve designed the questionnaire based on over 35 years of research and practice with managers just like you. After answering this questionnaire, you’ll receive a short evaluation showing your real chances for promotion. Think of it as a summary of what your boss would’ve said if they’d been asked about your chances for promotion and factors affecting career development - without your presence in the room.

 

There’s so much advice out there about how to get promoted. Bookstores, libraries, and the internet are full of advice - and there’s a whole consulting industry fueled by this as well. What’s really important, though, is to make sure that you receive the information that’s right for you. As I see things, information that’s right for you is both personalized and objective. It should be personalized because not everyone is the same. What works for you is not necessarily what works for someone else. That’s why I don’t like cookie-cutting. And information should be objective because it cannot come from a source who has some kind of vested interest in how you’ll use the information. Otherwise, there will always be a slant on crucial information that could affect the rest of your career. That’s why a questionnaire based on research and practice is an ideal way of helping to generate both personal and objective information that is actionable. So there’s really nothing to lose. Discover the real reason your boss isn’t promoting you.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

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“I'm headed towards my next promotion.”

Welcome to the final post in my 6-part Success Series, in which I feature managers whom I’ve helped embark on their journey towards the corner office. This week’s post is the continuation of Rob’s story. If you haven’t had the chance, I recommend reading last week’s post before moving on.

 

This week, we return to Rob, who realizes that discovering his dominant and potential management styles is not something he can do alone.


 

Hurdle

After about two months of trying to develop my potential management style, I started to understand Etika’s wry smile as I had left her after our meeting. Yes, there’s a huge difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. As a talented manager, I was sure that the whole transformation thing would be a piece of cake - just a matter of identifying the factors affecting career development - but I was dead wrong. It was time to see Etika again.

 

Encounter with Etika

After catching up on the last couple of months, I told Etika how hard it had all been. She assured me that I wasn’t the first to underestimate how difficult real change can be. It’s actually one of the most crucial factors affecting career development. She illustrated with examples of the way change is portrayed in the media as something “instant”, Actually, she explained, we are all creatures of habit who avoid change - sticking instead to what we already know. But change, she continued, means saying goodbye to the familiar and venturing to the unknown. It’s very hard but of course very possible - and requires some degree of help. Reflecting on the past two months, I knew that I needed help and asked Etika how she’d be able to assist me.

 

Referring to our initial conversation, she reminded me that we’d have to work on giving more room to my potential management style, which is currently being squashed by my dominant management style. This would be the first step towards paving my corporate development career path. It would require learning and practicing new habits, which would make me a more well-rounded manager. While she assured me of eventual success, Etika warned me that this kind of change isn’t “instant” and would come with the usual ups and downs that are expected with change. We’d take things step by step. I wasn’t thrilled to hear about this possible roller coaster ride, but I knew that I had to give it a try.

 

Road to success

After about two years of learning how to make room for my potential management style by reducing certain aspects of my dominant management style , I was promoted to VP Marketing and in a couple of months, I’m due to be appointed CEO.

 

What about you?

Rob received the help he needed to discover his dominant and potential management styles, leading him to achievements he’d probably never imaged.

 

What about your dominant and potential management styles? Leave a comment below.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

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“Now I know what I need to do to get promoted."

Welcome to part 5 of my 6-part Success Series, where I tell the stories of managers who find themselves facing difficulties during their climb up the corporate ladder.  The Success Series is dedicated to your success, with the hope that you’ll use these stories as a source of strength as your make your way towards the corner office.

 

This week, I’d like to share the story of Rob who was having trouble reflecting on his management style until he made an important discovery.

 

Hurdle

"You just need to be more effective.” I had been hearing this sentence from my boss for over a year now. It was one of the many examples of goals for employees in performance reviews that kept echoing in my mind. I had been vying for a promotion and had felt comfortable enough to let my boss know, even preparing my resume for internal promotion. Every time I hinted at it, though, I was met with the same sentence. I finally sat down with my boss over lunch one day and asked him what he meant. He told me that by being more effective, he meant that I needed to make decisions faster, sometimes even sacrificing the full consensus of my team members. I couldn’t believe my ears. How could I disregard my valuable team members? It had been through my intensive team building efforts that had made us so cohesive, let alone developed my reputation as a well-loved manager.

 

Encounter with Etika

I had heard about Etika from a colleague and decided to make an appointment with her. After a quick chat about my frustration, Etika explained to me that every manager has what’s known as a “dominant management style” and that on one hand, this is what has led to my success so far, while on the other, it can actually squash any further potential - even with such a successful resume for internal promotion. It was really interesting to hear all of this and it somehow gave me hope that maybe by developing my potential, I would be able to, in my boss’s words, be “more effective”.

 

I asked Etika how I can find out more about my management potential. She sat me down in front of a computer and had me fill out a questionnaire. After analyzing the results, she showed me both my dominant and potential management styles. More importantly, she remarked that my dominant management style was keeping my potential management style from developing. This all started to make a lot of sense to me and I realized that all that I had to do was to “make room” for my potential management style.  I promised Etika that I would work on this and thanked her so much for sorting things out for me. I was determined to make a significant change. Etika smiled and let out a slight chuckle. I looked at her a bit confused and she answered that there’s quite a difference between knowing that you have to do something and actually doing it. She wished me good luck and I was on my way.

 

Road to success

Rob spent the next week writing a list of ways to develop his potential. He even made a list of key websites and books that he would be sure to consult as he embarked on his journey.

 

What about you?

Rob realized the importance of identifying his dominant and potential management styles. It’s the first step towards meaningful change.

 

Do you know your dominant and potential management styles? Leave a comment below.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

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"I finally discovered why they wouldn't promote me."

Welcome to part 4 of my 6-part Success Series. In this series, I profile managers who’ve faced some rather difficult career challenges.  I share these stories to show that what you are experiencing is common among many managers who are journeying towards the corner office - and to encourage you not to give up.

 

This week, I’d like to share the story of John, a super successful sales manager, who couldn’t understand what he was doing wrong.

 

Hurdle

I had just come out of my last performance review pretty down and out. My boss couldn’t stop praising my achievements last quarter, especially the fact that I had met all of my sales goals - certainly a great way of how to measure success at work. I was sure that this was going to result in her offering me a promotion. But just the opposite happened. Instead, she told me that I was not going to be up for promotion for the following year. I was flabbergasted. How could it be that I am doing such a good job yet ineligible for promotion? When I asked her this, she said that I am not quite ready for more managerial duties and that I needed to carry on in my present position for the time being. How could this possibly be? For years, everyone has been telling me that I am wise beyond my years.  None of this was making sense at all.

 

I decided to let the dust settle for the rest of the week. Over the weekend, I called one of my old college buddies and told him about the performance review. He was just as surprised as I had been, especially regarding how to measure success at work. So he suggested that I get in touch with Etika. If there was anyone who could help, she could. I wasn’t sure about this. After all, it was my boss's poor judgement, not my issue.

 

Encounter with Etika

Reluctantly, I made an appointment for the middle of the following week. When I made it to the top of the stairs and entered Etika’s office, I was met with an array of mirrors - each one reflecting a slightly different image of me. Some of them were pretty funny looking. I navigated my way through a couple of more mirrors and was then greeted by Etika. After introductions, she offered me a seat and asked me what I thought about all of the mirrors. I told her that it reminded me of the house of mirrors at an amusement park. She pressed on, asking me to think about the meaning behind all of these funny images. I wasn’t sure where this was going, so she explained. She said that these reflections represent how others - especially those in charge of promoting me - might see me. She explained that it was important to identify the aspects that people see as hindering my ability to function in a more senior position. Also, it’s important to see how some of the things you see as advantages might be perceived as disadvantages to others. This last sentence got me thinking. Sometimes, I am so goal oriented that I take over projects, leaving team members behind. In this way, I don’t really delegate tasks, teach my team members how to overcome challenges. I guess that this is why I hadn’t been considered for promotion.

 

Road to success

I decided to give Etika a try. After about a year and a half of hard work, people started to see me differently, wondering how I’d made such a 180 degree change. Needless to say, I was promoted during that time and have been promoted again since then.

 

What about you?

John changed the way he thought about “success” and therefore was able to make the changes needed to modify his management style.

 

Have you ever reconsidered what it means to be successful? How might it have influenced your career goals for a manager like yourself? Leave a comment below.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

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