1 1 1 1
X

Are you really
promotion material?

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?
Get your results directly to your email:
** Please answer all questions **

Why following the rules might be bad for your career

Welcome to the fourth post in my 5-part series on taking control of your career. In this post, I’ll be providing advice to Administrators. (Check out my previous posts on Integrators and Producers).

 

Are you an Administrator? If you work according to the following beliefs, chances are that the answer is “yes.”

 

Clear planning is necessary to achieve success.

Order is the backbone of any worthwhile results.

An organized team is a winning team.

 

For Administrators, there are general guidelines for how to measure success at work.

 

Administrators are often praised early in their career for their commitment to orderly planning and organization. Before taking on a new project, Administrators ensure that all resources are available and that a clear project flow is in place. Then they meticulously plan the stages of the project, carefully integrating the use of resources along the way. Projects begin on time and are completed either on or ahead of schedule. And Administrators can report progress down to the minute at a moment’s notice. Such criteria are clear for how to measure success at work, making  Administrators a dream come true for many complex organizations.

 

As such, Administrators are often promoted to middle management positions rather quickly. In these new roles, they further develop ways to run projects efficiently and on time, many times exceeding expected results.  Team members usually feel secure under the care of  Administrators, as there are generally no surprises.

 

Unfortunately, though, sooner or later, Administrators find themselves surprised as they see other colleagues being promoted, while they are left behind.

 

And when they investigate why they’re being passed up, promotion after promotion, they often get rather shocking feedback, such as:

 

“You’re not flexible enough.”

“You don’t seem to be able to roll with the punches.”

“You rarely look beyond the specific projects you’re running.”

 

While these are just examples of statements Administrators might hear, they all point to one thing: too much energy is spent on organization, processes, and procedures. But the important message here is the subtext: more effort should have been made in developing and practicing skills such as brainstorming, team-building, and improvising.

 

But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. No one is looking for a 180 degree change. The message here is that these less-developed skills should be worked on alongside the natural strengths of an Administrator. In this way, Administrators are then viewed as more well-rounded and - more importantly - poised for handling the unpredictability of any corporate environment.

 

So if you are an Administrator, take a close look at yourself and build a plan to develop the skills you’ll need in the future. And the next time a promotion opportunity comes up, it’ll be all yours.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

Why go-getters might NOT get promoted

This post is one in a 5-part series explaining how middle managers can determine their own career destiny. In my first post in this series, I introduced the danger of becoming too specialized and in my second one, I addressed the challenges facing Integrators (read my second post in this series to learn about the four management types). In this post, I’ll be focussing on Producers.

 

Many successful managers, early on in their corporate development career path, are recognized as Producers. Companies benefit from these quick-thinking, fast-acting talents that are true go-getters.

 

Producers hunger for challenges, which they take on with seemingly endless enthusiasm and energy. They dedicate themselves and their team to meeting these challenges day and night - never resting until completion. Nothing keeps Producers and their team from producing results. To maintain such high standards, Producers are involved in every bit and byte of their team’s projects, oftentimes providing real-time, hands-on guidance. Team members feel professionally supported and supervised down to the last kernel. As such, they are expected to give it their all to meet project goals.

 

Early on in their corporate development career path, Producers often boast a record of accomplishments that even rivals some of the company’s higher-ranking managers. Producers never seem to tire - and their teams are right behind them. So when an opening comes along for a mid-level go-getter, the Producers are the first in line - and the first to win.

 

And the beat goes on. As mid-level managers, Producers gain the power and wherewithal to identify and pursue even more ambitious goals, leading their teams to results the company had only dreamed of. And as time passes, Producers view their next promotion as their next critical goal.

 

But actions speak for themselves, right? With the track record of a Producer, that next promotion is just a matter of time. So if Producers keep their head to the grindstone, the promotion’s in the bag.

 

The big surprise is that the promotion never occurs. Yes, opportunities keep coming along, but it’s not the Producers who get them. Why?

 

Here’s the story.

 

While the Producers were hard at work tackling one goal after another - and of course perfecting their fight - they failed to develop some other essential qualities needed for more senior positions. For example, their drive to meet targets at all costs came at the expense of properly training and developing their teams. And their determination to deliver results quickly resulted in their turning a blind eye to important corporate policies. And by just concentrating on their goals, Producers end up gaining the reputation of being a “one-person show”. Who would want a “one-person show” as a senior manager? That’s right, no one.

 

So here’s what you should do if you’re a Producer:

 

Expand your horizons. No, I don’t mean take on more projects. What I do mean is try to develop the skills you’ve been neglecting over the years. For example, when was the last time you made sure you consulted with more than one or two members of your team? Or really sat down and thought about corporate strategy and how to improve it from a managerial perspective? And here’s the hardest one: have you ever just let your team carry out a project without your constant input?

 

Sure, these less familiar situations might be hard to digest, but they will help you become a more well-rounded manager - a manager worthy of achieving the coveted corner office.

 

So no resting on the laurels of your past achievements. It’s time to make it your primary goal to find out what competencies you need to develop and begin working on them now.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.


 

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

Great at team-building? Your next promotion is NOT in the bag

In my last post, I explained how your current competencies could actually be working against the career goals of a manager like yourself.. In this post, I begin a four-part series, which will teach you how to take hold of your career. But as we all know, one size does not fit all - especially when it comes to advice.

 

That’s why, over the years, I’ve worked according to four different managerial styles. While there are individual variations, most managers can classify their managerial style into one of four types: Integrator, Entrepreneur, Producer, and Administrator. Fred, from my previous post, is known as an Integrator, as his greatest talent is building and managing teams. Here are the other three: Entrepreneurs are always looking for new growth opportunities; Producers are extremely bottom-line oriented, and Administrators are whizzes at developing and enforcing corporate policy. In this post, I’ll be talking about how an Integrator can achieve the career goals of a manager -  ensuring a sustainable career.

 

Integrators are love at first sight for most companies. Within a very short time of being hired, they are well-liked by others and begin building a following of people who will do anything to please them. Given Integrators’ success with people, they are able to form teams almost effortlessly, while miraculously keeping everyone happy and committed. Integrators preach and practice their belief that teams must be both well-informed and satisfied. As such, all projects have an “open door” policy so that everyone is invited to project meetings. At these meetings, Integrators always insist on complete consensus. So before making any decisions, team members always hear each other out and have a chance to comment. But it doesn’t stop there. Integrators believe that keeping a team together means being available for any concerns team members might have - professional or personal - day or night. Integrators and their teams truly have it all.  

 

So it’s no surprise that somewhere between 3-5 years down the road, good Integrators are usually offered a promotion, based on their superior reputation at building and handling teams. Entrusted with new challenges and the authority and resources to meet them, Integrators continue to ride the wave of success for another three years or so, eyeing their next promotion on the horizon. But not without hard work. During this time, Integrators are busy perfecting their team-handling skills to a fine art. They are second to none.

 

So one day, when a promotion opportunity is announced, Integrators see their name written all over it and of course apply for the position. With such an exceptional record, they’ve got it in the bag, right?

 

Wrong. They’re actually turned down. Here’s why.

 

Remember the Integrator’s policy of total team involvement? Insistence on consensus? 24/7 availability? These were appropriate when the Integrator was a junior and even a mid-level manager. But developing this mindset came at the expense of taking on other essential skills, such as initiating multiple projects, making quick decisions, and being decisive.

 

So while many Integrators might earn a stellar reputation as team developers, they often become known as the source of bottlenecks when it comes to implementation.

 

So what should Integrators learn from this?

 

If you’re an Integrator, you must develop skills outside your comfort zone. Yes, use your relative advantage when it comes to building and managing teams. Yes, nurture the relationships you have with your staff. These will allow you entry into the club of potential candidates for promotion. But don’t forget other skills that might not come as naturally to you, for example: making critical decisions on your own or putting forth policies that might not be favored by team members. It is only through ensuring your well-roundedness that you will be seriously considered for senior positions.

 

So don’t get off track. Identify what you need to get better at now and begin working on it today.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.


 

  


 

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

3 things you must know to sustain career success

A whopping 72% of successful managers don’t achieve their career dreams - despite all of what they have going for them!

 

And here’s the kicker: it’s because of their success that they don’t get promoted!

 

Sounds strange? I’ll explain why.

 

But first a few words about how to measure success at work. Despite what we might think about being successful, one thing is for sure: success depends on circumstances. What makes you successful in one situation might make you unsuccessful in another. So a successful manager is really just enjoying a temporary place in the limelight - which will fade away at some point.

 

Here’s an example:

 

Let’s take Fred, a super-successful manager when it comes to motivating and mobilizing teams. He’s not only effective at bringing folks together, he’s one of the most admired managers as well - so much that his team is willing to go all out for him at a moment’s notice. By all measures of how to measure success at work, a manager like Fred would be one of the first considered for promotion right?

 

Not so fast. You know the saying: “Every coin has two sides”. On one hand, Fred is a wizard at handling teams. But on the other, spending too much time on nurturing teams often leads to a slowdown in decisionmaking - and even indecisiveness.

 

The moral of the lesson here is as follows: success is always determined under a specific set of circumstances. Change the role (or the expectations of the role) and you change the definition of “success”. Most managers are always surprised by this.

 

But back to Frank. While Frank was sure he was the next one up for promotion, he found himself being passed up. Beyond the disappointment and frustration Frank surely felt, there’s a huge question mark: Why? How can such a successful manager such as Frank, who’s even emulated by others, not have gotten the promotion?

 

This is one of the first questions that many managers have asked me over the years. And the next thing they say to me is usually something to the tune of, “I’m successful on almost all measures and highly valued by my company. Why didn’t I get that last promotion?” What went wrong?

 

Knowing what went wrong can certainly help you understand what you need to do to avoid this next time - but mostly will deepen your understanding of what it means to be a successful manager.

 

Like everyone, you were taught that to get ahead in your career, you’ve got to be good - or even excellent - at what you do. And so this is what you’ve been working towards your whole career - paving the path to the top, bit-by-bit. It’s important to note that no one steered you wrong on this one. Excelling at your job is essential for becoming the type of manager your organization would consider for future promotions. But, as we’ve seen with Fred, it’s still not enough…Here are the top 3 reasons why:

 

1.    What you’ve got is not necessarily what it takes.

In your current role, you haven’t actively developed the competencies needed for a more senior role.  And it doesn’t end here. Sometimes the skills and talents you’ve been growing all along are the very ones that might be blocking your success.

 

2.    You’re walking the plank.

You think that the way to get ahead is by excelling at your current position, rather than developing new competencies. So you harness all of your motivation and march forward, without taking into consideration that you should be looking left, right, or even ahead!

 

3. You haven’t been listening.

All caught up in the aura of your achievements, you’ve been ignoring the bits of constructive feedback you’ve been receiving all along the way. If you think back, you’ll note that these valuable tidbits could’ve helped you get that next promotion.

 

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, it’s not the end of the world (or your career). What’s important is that from now on, you work on preventing these situation so that you can achieve the promotion you deserve.

 

In the next few posts, I’ll be showing you exactly how to take your career destiny into your own hands.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

Rejected for promotion? Here are 4 gameplans to avoid.

Getting rejected for a promotion is no game.

 

It’s sad. It’s frustrating. It’s difficult. It’s disappointing...and of course can derail the career goals of a manager like yourself..

 

While you can’t turn back the clock, you can do some important damage control. Read on...

 

Four gameplans to avoid when you’ve been rejected:

 

1.  Playing from the gut

You’re sure that there’s some sinister reason you were rejected. And it makes you so mad that what you feel like doing is getting up, storming out of your boss’s office, and slamming the door behind you. Sure, you’re entitled to feel this way, but losing control can cause irreparable damage. So even if you see yourself leaving the company at some point anyway, don’t do it now. Because if you make a scene, it’ll just confirm to your boss that they’ve made the right decision - and of course block any future chances of promotion.  Instead, take action only once you’ve calmed down and really weighed the pros and cons. Acting on reason - and not emotion -  is always the best way to promote the career goals of a manager like yourself.

 

2.  Playing “Clue”

You’re dying to know who got the promotion instead of you. (And you’d probably like to kill them.) But this isn’t the time to concern yourself with others. And if you think you know who it might be, it really doesn’t matter right now. The important thing is to prevent yourself from bad mouthing that person at all costs. Such behavior, again, will confirm to your boss that indeed you weren’t the right person to get promoted.

 

3.  Playing detective

Sure you’d like to know EXACTLY why you were rejected, but now is not the time to find out. You might be surprised to discover that your boss is also feeling really uncomfortable now. And any answer you’d get would probably be sugar-coated anyway. So leave your curiosity aside at the moment while everyone is walking on eggshells.

 

4.  Playing the hero

A common way of ending this kind of unpleasant meeting is for your boss to ask you how you feel or what your plans are now. I know what you feel like telling them, but try to curb your temptation. Dealing with rejection takes time and you owe it to yourself to calm down and look at things from a rational point of view. So if you’re asked, just let your boss know you’re a bit shocked at the moment and that you’d like some time to think about it. In this way, you keep your composure and future doors open.

 

Future gameplans…

Let’s hope this is the first and last time you’ll have to endure such an unpleasant experience. Your job now is to regroup, make some tough decisions, and make a gameplan to pick up the pieces.

 

I wish you the best of luck.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

4 steps to turning your annual review into a promotion

Another annual performance review has come to an end. And once again, you’ve managed to make it out alive. Good job.

 

But what’s next? What should you do with the information you’ve just gotten? You could be like 73% of all mid-level managers and just go about the rest of your day...week...month...and year.

 

Or you could take advantage of this yearly opportunity to significantly increase your chances for promotion - one of the greatest examples of goals for employees in performance reviews.

 

The insight you can gain from your annual performance review can be invaluable. It can translate into an action plan to put you at the top. But unfortunately, most people miss out on the important insights and end up remaining exactly where they started.

 

So the question of the day...or the year…is:  how can you gain the insights needed for getting your next promotion?

 

Before moving on, I want to dispel some myths. Many of you are probably thinking that information from an annual review couldn’t be nearly as important for promotion as, for example, raw talent or good ol’ elbow grease. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. If this is your viewpoint, then you’re promising yourself a nice, soft landing into the very same position you’re in right now.

 

You want proof? Check out how most people experience their annual review:

 

They listen intently during the review.

They interpret what they’ve heard according to what they want to hear.

They make conclusions based on their interpretation.

They make decisions based on these conclusions.

They form a game plan based on these decisions.

They play out the game plan.

 

So as you’ve surely realized, there’s a direct link between your interpretation of events and the action you eventually take. This is all fine if your interpretations lead to your next promotion. But what happens if you misinterpret what you’ve heard? You’ve got it - disaster.

 

I’ll give you an example. Let’s say a boss tells an employee that they’ve got the potential needed to get a promotion and that to make it happen, the boss provides them with solid examples of goals for employees in performance reviews. For example, the boss might mention carrying on producing the same quality of work, demonstrating abilities, and making the same time investment made so far.

 

Believe it or not, this kind of statement can be interpreted in at least four different ways:

 

1.    I’m well-appreciated and I’ve got a lot of potential, so I should just keep doing as I’m doing.

 

2.    I should continue doing the same things that prompted my boss to say what they said.

 

3.    I should try to do even more of what I’ve been doing so far.

 

4.    I should do most of what I’ve been doing so far - and possibly increase some of what I’ve been doing.

 

You can probably guess what the major mistake here is: trying to form a game plan on just some of the information required!

 

So where does the other information come from, you’re asking? From you, the employee! Now let’s rewind to the beginning of this post.

 

Well done for getting through your annual performance review. Maybe it would be a good idea to go to lunch or to step outside for a little fresh air.

 

Now, after feeling refreshed, visualize the promotion you’d like to have in the upcoming year and follow these four critical steps:

 

List the skill sets or accomplishments needed to get this promotion.

 

Make a table that compares this list with the feedback you received in your annual performance review.

 

Using the table, make operative decisions to prepare yourself for your next promotion. For example, you might need to:

continue doing what you’ve done so far;

add new skill sets;

modify some behaviors.

 

Based on your operative decisions, formulate an action plan. And most importantly, ensure to check in with yourself at least every three months to see how you’re progressing.

 

Diligently following these steps will help turn your annual performance review into a promotion action plan - and place you among the 27% who will succeed.

 

Good luck!

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

4 ways to benefit from your annual performance review

The information you can get during your annual performance review is extremely important for your career. Most reviews begin with a general  snapshot of your performance from the previous year. But you can get a lot closer towards your tempting career advancement out of an annual review, especially if your goal is find out how close you are to that next promotion.

 

But let’s face it. Most of us enjoy annual reviews as much as after school detention. We feel so uncomfortable that even if we’re given sound career advice we might decide to follow, the negativity we feel usually prevents us from taking real steps. In fact, while 89% of us leave reviews determined to make a significant change, only about 30% actually do anything about it. The other 11%? They claim that what was said in the review has little to do with them.  

 

So what’s causing all of this review angst and what can be done about it? Read on.

 

1.    Lack of belief

Not in a higher power - in your boss. For whatever reason, you just can’t bring yourself to believe what your boss is telling you. Maybe they’ve been lax with the truth in the past or maybe there’s just something you can’t put your finger on. Whatever it might be, the result is that you approach your annual performance review with low energy and little motivation to learn anything.

 

So here’s what you have to do:

Plan a research agenda by first gathering as much information as possible that’s relevant to your next promotion and then preparing a list of questions. When your boss has finished the review, begin asking your questions and don’t let up until you have satisfactory answers. This, in effect, will turn the tables and provide you with an active role in the review, rather than just a victim of someone you don’t trust.

 

2.    Quality control

The quality of the annual performance review is due partly to the process itself and partly to your boss (discussed above). If you feel that the review isn’t hitting the points you expected, then you’re likely to lose faith in it right away. Add to this that your boss might be feeling the same way and therefore is trying to run through it as quickly as possible. Needless to say, there’s not much quality that can result from any of this.

 

So here’s what you have to do:

Come with questions. Lots of them - especially ones that require more complex conversation. In this way, you upgrade the review process from something very shallow to a meaningful experience. And if the review goes overtime, schedule a follow-up session to continue talking - off the books, so to speak. It’s in your interest to find out as many avenues for improvement as possible, so that you can stay on the promotion track towards tempting career advancement.

 

3.    Rewind

Sometimes, it seems as if your annual performance review has been watered down to a script your boss is obligated to read to you. It’s no surprise that we often walk away from such situations, wondering just how much thought was put into the process.

 

So here’s what you have to do:

Don’t let your boss get away with reciting your review and then moving on to the next person. Ask for a rewind - a review of the most important points. This will urge your boss to prioritize the points - so that you’ll understand which ones should be dealt with immediately. In this way, your boss has provided you with input and you can then form an action plan to address it.

 

4. Baby steps

It can be hard to put what you’ve learned into practice - and therefore sometimes you just might not want to hear it at all. Getting so much information and trying to somehow practically apply it can be an overwhelming experience for everyone. And the more time that passes, the less the chances you’ll actually be able to apply anything you’ve learned.

 

So here’s what you have to do:

Don’t take it upon yourself to make sweeping changes. When you try to bite off more than you can chew, you choke. Instead, try to break down the changes into manageable baby steps - steps that you can monitor and add to when you feel comfortable. After six months or so, check in with yourself to see if you’ve made progress and adjust accordingly.

 

Finally

An annual performance review, for many reasons, is not a day at the beach. By understanding what you’re uncomfortable with, you can begin to help shape it to meet your own needs - and progress one step further towards your corner office.


 

Good luck!

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

Getting even closer to your next promotion: 4 great examples of goals for employees in performance reviews

Getting even closer to your next promotion: 4 great examples of goals for employees in performance reviews

 

In my last post, in which I addressed looking at your corporate development career path, I wrote quite a bit about the importance of annual performance reviews. Their significance can be seen through the generous funneling of resources allocated to ensure their success. Though many mid-level managers see being the object of review as appealing as a visit to the dentist, I want you to view it as an excellent opportunity to advance your career. But you have to prepare in advance. Here are some classic examples of goals for employees in performance reviews that should help you along the way:

 

Goal 1: Determine the deliverables.

Treat your performance review as you would any other professional project in which you’d expect tangible deliverables. After a performance review, you should expect deliverables to include both information you want your boss to know  (e.g., Am I up for promotion? When?) as well as information you want from your boss (e.g., I’m not happy with the pace of my career, compensation package, etc.).

 

Goal 2: Draw the line.

This one gets a little hairy, but if you stick with me, it’ll be worth it. You know that if you’re looking to get promoted, you’ll have to actually say it at some point during your annual performance review. You might even practice a key phrase, such as, “I feel it’s time for me to get promoted”. And during the review, you might even muster up the courage to actually say it...and then you’ll let out a sigh of relief because you did it without breaking out into a terrible sweat. But this whole scenario doesn’t seem right, does it? You’re right. And this is why you have to strive towards formulating two messages: one above the line and the other below the line.

 

Just like in marketing, an above the line message would be an explicit statement, such as requesting a promotion within a certain period of time, for example, two years. But a below the line message requires a bit more skill. Let’s say you’ve decided that if you don’t get a promotion within two years, you’ll leave the company. If you were to state this as an above the line message, you’d find yourself offered a cardboard box before you finished the sentence. However, to strengthen your original above the line message, it would still be beneficial to let your boss understand your seriousness about your two year limit. I’ll cover how to do deliver this below the line in the next step.

 

Goal 3: Look up.

The best way to explain how to formulate a below the line message is by giving an example. Taking the scenario in Goal 2, you might mention to your boss that so far, you’ve made sure to get promoted about every four years and that in two more years, you’ll have been in this current position for four years already. Your boss isn’t stupid. They’ll know exactly what you mean. And at the same time, you won’t have seemed disrespectful or unappreciative.  So now let’s return to your above the line message.


 

Goal 4: Don’t look down.

As I’ve described above, you’ve managed to get that fateful phrase out of your mouth and now you’re finally relieved. Good job, but you’ve only done (really less than) half the job. Don’t worry, you don’t have to repeat what you’ve just said. Your boss heard it. But now it’s up to you to make sure they act on what you’ve said. This can be done simply with a follow up phrase as simple as, “What do you think about this”. Something this short will force your boss to relate to what you’ve said and provide you with an answer - even if it’s tentative. Without this little follow-up, your career goals remain in the air with no one taking any responsibility. So don’t look down - look up...and ask.

 

Conclusion

I hope you’ve understood the great potential annual performance reviews can have for you. With the right kind of goals and preparation, a review with your boss can bring you a few steps closer towards your corner office. By the way, you might find my post last post about the importance of corporate development career path planning helpful as well.

 

Good luck!

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

Check out these 2 important tips for your annual performance review.

It’s that time of the year again. Check out these 2 important tips for your annual performance review.

 

Every year the world over, annual performance (aka “feedback,” “assessment,” or ”appraisal”) reviews take place right around this time of year. In many organizations, reviews are a formal affair, while in others they are more casual.

 

What’s for sure is that over the last two decades or so, annual performance reviews have developed into both an art and a science, with companies pouring in their confidence, training and budgets into the process.

 

So it’s no wonder that stakeholders all around - executive managers, middle managers, and employees - take annual reviews seriously - so seriously that organizations tend to suffer from a pretty nasty case of the jitters during review season.  

 

Performance reviews usually involve two “players.” On one hand are the obvious “targets” of the review - you. You’re the one being appraised by your direct supervisor. So it’s understandable that you might experience anxiety, as being reviewed can feel like stepping onto a shooting range with all guns pointed directly at you. But what many people don’t realize is that reviews can be just as stressful for those handing out our decrees. Realizing that every word supervisors utter is going to be scrutinized and analyzed by us, they have the almost impossible task of providing a year’s worth of appraisal within the framework of an oftentimes strict format.

 

So because of this built-in tension on all fronts, the actual meeting can actually be a paralyzing experience. The supervisor, on one hand, is tiptoeing along, while you might be trying to figure out the subtext behind each of the their statements. The result is a rather stilted encounter that both of you want to get over with as quickly as possible.

 

The question is if this is the way it has to be. Can this lemon of a meeting somehow be turned into lemonade? Can it actually help pave your corporate development career path? My answer is yes. Absolutely. Here’s how:

 

Reframe

Take a fresh look at what an annual performance review is all about. Yes, it’s the time for your supervisor to appraise what you’ve been doing the past year. But it’s also a huge opportunity for you to get involved so that you can advance your own career. So reframe the review from a halting monologue by your supervisor to a meaningful dialogue between the both of you. (Watch for next week’s post on how to reframe reviews.)

 

Be proactive

I’ve addressed the paralysis that can occur during annual performance reviews. Your job is to make sure you don’t fall victim. So be proactive. Don’t just nod your head in a comatic trance as your boss imparts words of wisdom. Speak up. Ask questions. Urge your boss to explore topics you see as important to you career. Of course, being proactive requires careful preparation, which I’ll be addressing in a later post.

 

Finally

Your annual performance review is too important to dismiss as just something you have to endure. It’s natural that you (and your supervisor) might feel out of your comfort zones, but it should not stop you from taking advantage of this important meeting as a key opportunity for your corporate development career path.

 

Future posts will be addressing specific techniques for helping you navigate your annual performance review so that you can move one more step towards your next promotion.

 

Good luck!

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

5 mistakes you can't afford to make when interviewing for an executive job at another company

This could’ve been your big break - one of the factors affecting the career development of any manager looking to advance.

 

You were called in for an interview at another company for a fabulous position - a job that would’ve been considered a major promotion at your current organization.

 

All excited (and a little nervous), you prepared yourself for the interview, making sure to find out key data about the company and brushing up on presenting your experience and qualifications.

 

At the interview, things seemed to go well as you explained about yourself and demonstrated your eagerness for the job. As the interview came to a close, you all shook hands. You were optimistic as you left the interview room.

 

But unfortunately, a few days later, you received an email stating that though the hiring committee was impressed with your background, they were still hesitant about your lack of experience in executive management. On a positive note, they’d be happy to hire you at your current managerial level.

 

A bummer. You were not only disappointed with the rejection, but also you were insulted at the thought of being offered to move to another company to do the same job you’re doing now. Following the initial shock, you began to wonder what caused the hiring committee to reject you. After all, they’d called you in for an interview. They must’ve thought that you had at least some chance of being hired. Was the interview conducted in good faith?

 

The good news is yes, you were interviewed in good faith. Companies don’t have time to conduct bogus interviews. But the unfortunate news is that  during your interview, doubts began to arise regarding your ability to be an effective executive manager - one of the major factors affecting career development. As the interview began, you were basically a gamble for the hiring committee - and therefore a heavy risk to the company. And as the interview progressed, the committee never got the feeling that it would be worth their placing their bets on you.

 

So what caused this opportunity of a lifetime to crash and burn? Read on to find out the 5 most common mistakes external candidates make when vying for a job at a higher level.

 

1.    You never saw the gap.

Never mind minding the gap. You didn’t even look for it. As an executive wanna be applying from outside the company, you’re just not going to have everything the company thinks it needs. Your job is to first and foremost acknowledge this gap, ensuring, as much as possible, that you know what’s expected versus what you can realistically bring to the table.

 

2.    You never bridged the gap.

Maybe at some point you realized that what you could offer might not completely fit the bill. But as a strategy, you thought it would be a good idea to ignore such “minor details” and just concentrate on what you could offer. Bad move. As you rambled on and on about your experience, the parts you strategically ignored were forming a huge elephant in the room. And the fact that you never tried to compensate for your shortcomings doubled the size of the elephant - and knocked you off the shortlist.

 

3.    You widened the gap.

While you were recounting your qualifications and experience, you failed to realize that your canned speech had little relevance to the issues the company was actually facing. The polite smiles you received were not because you were impressing the socks off the committee. They were just polite smiles...waiting for you to end your monologue.

 

4.    You fell into the gap.

 

This job opportunity was pretty much a long shot. Between us, we know you’d applied for a similar position at your current organization and were rejected. So when you actually landed the interview for this job, you had to ask yourself if they’d possibly made a mistake. But you were still excited about the opportunity, even though the chances of success were slim. Well, it’s exactly this approach to the interview that caused you to get swallowed into the gap. If you’d prepared diligently for the interview, as if you’d been hungry...no...STARVING for the job, then you wouldn’t have fallen into the gap. Instead, you spent energy convincing yourself that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you didn’t get the job. And by doing so, you convinced the hiring committee of the same thing.


 

5.    You missed the gap.

 

You never really told the hiring committee one thing: why you. Just like when you market a product or service, you have to know how to position yourself for your particular target market. But you failed to do your market research and therefore see how you were going to satisfy the company’s needs better than anyone else.


 

Hopefully, you’ll have another crack at a dream job...and you’ll do it right. The most important lesson to learn is that all of these mistakes result from one thing: lack of productive preparation. So before pursuing your next dream job, make sure you do the following:

 

1.    Find out why the company is interviewing external candidates instead of or in addition to internal ones. What qualities might there be lacking in the internal candidates? Knowing this will help you position yourself as something attractive the company will want to pursue.


 

2.    Research what the company is succeeding at and what challenges it is facing. This will help you know which parts of you to emphasize. As a result, the hiring committee will know it can count on you to both maintain its success and tackle its challenges.

 

3.    Prepare your pitch - and not a generic one either. Make sure it addresses all of the 5 mistakes mentioned above. At the end of your pitch, the hiring committee should feel that you know the company and its needs inside and out - and that you’re the right person to satisfy them.

 

Pursuing a higher level job outside your current organization can be a great challenge - as it takes both you and the hiring committee out of your comfort zones. But with the right research and preparation, it can create a win-win for everyone.

 

Good luck.


 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.


 

Download file

get your weekly free blog update

100% privacy, I will never spam you.

Headline

COMMENTS

Pages