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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?
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** Please answer all questions **

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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"Now I know how to really manage my career."

Welcome to part 3 of my 6-part Success Series, where I feature managers whom I’ve helped overcome tough career hurdles. I hope that these stories inspire you to begin the journey towards your corner office.

 

Lisa had always been a go-getter when it came to climbing the corporate ladder. Eyeing her next promotion, she turned to her boss for guidance.


 

Hurdle

I was always taught to manage my own career - to be proactive -  not to wait around for some big boss to recognize me and hand me an opportunity on a silver platter - even though this was only my first managerial job. With this thought in mind, I went into a meeting with my direct supervisor, who had asked me for a quarterly budget update. After our discussion of this quarter’s numbers, I asked if she had a few more minutes to talk. She agreed and I told her that I admired her very much for her own climb up the corporate ladder and wanted to know about other factors affecting career development. She thanked me for the compliment and said that it’s important to always take charge of things, stay engaged with the company’s overall strategy, and to keep developing my curiosity. Then she urged me to get in touch with Etika, whom she promised would help me work towards tempting career advancement. My boss knew what she was talking about, so I took down Etika’s number.

 

As I left my supervisor’s office, I thought that maybe it might be a little too premature to try to fast track my career. Could this be a mistake? Perhaps I needed more experience in my current role.

 

That night, I went out with some friends for after work drinks. One of my colleagues introduced me to someone who said that he had just been to see Etika and that things looked very good. I knew that this person and I were at the same managerial level, so I thought to myself that it probably is a good time in my career to meet with Etika to explore factors affecting career development. After all, I always did see myself as proactive when it came to my career.

 

Encounter with Etika

When I finished climbing the stairs to Etika’s office, I was greeted with the famous mirrors that I had heard and read about. I knew that each mirror provided a slightly different reflection of me and that I should take into account that I am perceived differently by the people around me at work.

 

A door opened and Etika appeared, greeting me warmly. She began to ask me about my impression of the mirrors and I told her that I already had heard and read about the story behind them. She smiled and asked me what the mirrors meant to me. I told her that the experience of seeing so many different versions of myself was thought-provoking - but I didn’t really know where to go on from there. I started to tell Etika why I had come but then had trouble in that department as well.

 

I explained to her that I didn’t have a specific issue that I was grappling with - much like many of the people I’d heard and read about who felt “stuck” in their career. She then asked me what, in any case, brought me to see her. I still wasn’t able to put my finger on anything specific, but one thing was certain: I wanted to get to the corner office as quickly as possible. Etika responded that this was an excellent reason for us to meet.

 

We sat down and Etika asked me about myself, my management style - it’s good and not-so-good points. She listened intently without interruption. Then, she sat me down next to a computer and had me fill out a questionnaire. My answers would not only help identify my dominant management style but also to what degree this style might be preventing my potential from developing - something that would be important for getting to that corner office.

 

The results showed that my dominant style is what’s known as Producer, which is actually very advantageous when it comes to getting things done as quickly and as effectively as possible. However, as I would grow and develop in the company, being just a Producer could hinder my ability to work with larger teams in bringing in results. This could be a real career-stopper and it was important for me to develop my potential management style as well.

 

I asked Etika if she thought that it was important for me to begin this change now - after all, I had a long career ahead of me and maybe working with her would distract me from my present duties. She told me that it was up to me. We could either continue with the process now or I could go back to my job and give her a call when I was ready.

 

I genuinely wasn’t sure what to do. Etika said that we could possibly begin slowly. The advantage was that it would be easier to make the changes because I was just at the beginning of my career and my management style wasn’t quite “set in cement” as it might be with more senior managers. I took a few days to think about it and then came back to Etika to get down to work.

 

Road to success

About nine months into the process, my immediate supervisor called me in for a meeting. I was sure that she wanted to review the quarterly budget. Instead, she told me that she and some of the other managers had noticed a change in me. They saw how well I was managing team members, ensuring that everyone understood their role. My boss said that this was what she’d meant by “taking charge of things”. Then, to my delight, she offered me a promotion, effective the following month.

 

Since then, three years have passed and I am the CFO of a large company, slated to take the CEO’s seat in two weeks.

 

What about you?

Have you begun your journey towards developing your career path? Leave a comment below.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

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"I was about to give up before I realized what I was doing wrong."

Welcome to part 2 of my 6-part Success Series, where I introduce managers I’ve helped get through some of their toughest career challenges. It’s my wish that these stories encourage you to believe in yourself as you move towards your own corner office.

 

This week, we hear about Melanie, who was pretty sure that she had exhausted any possibility of improving herself as a manager.

 

Hurdle

I had been sort of a “frequent flyer” when it came to self-improvement seminars and workshops. You name it and I had been there - even down to learning how to write about career goals and memorizing job promotion interview answers. After several years of trying to be a better manager, I found myself exhausted and confused. How could it be that with so many hours invested in self-improvement, I was still stuck when it came to being an effective manager? Maybe I wasn’t as talented as I had thought - and maybe this was the highest rung I’d reach on my career ladder.

 

I was lamenting all of this over a cocktail with my long-time associate when she suggested that I make an appointment with Etika. Etika was known for getting managers out of ruts - never an easy process - but doable. I had tried so many things in the past, so I thought what do I have to lose, and decided to give Etika a try.

 

I must say that after wasting so much time and effort on self-improvement, I arrived at Etika’s office pretty skeptical, but I said to myself that I had to make one last concerted effort to become a better manager.

 

Encounter with Etika

Etika greeted me at her office and offered me a seat. After a bit of small talk, I began telling her about all of the seminars and workshops that I’d attended the last few years. At the most recent one, I had received a guide on how to write about career goals and a list of things that any manager who wants to implement change must do. This list, compiled by the lecturer, included the habits of the world’s top 100 managers and, if followed, would guarantee managerial success. Being as determined as I was, I had made every effort to follow this list, day-by-day, week-by-week, and month-by-month. However, I had begun to feel that it was difficult to keep up these habits and little-by-little, I had fallen back into my previous habits. Etika wasn’t surprised. She explained that it’s very hard - almost impossible - to turn yourself into someone else. What we can do, she said, is to improve ourselves in certain aspects.

 

I asked her what aspects she was referring to. She gave me the example of a manager who prioritizes a company’s procedures over the bottom line. While the procedures might be important, if they lead to a loss in the company’s income statement, then they should be changed. The change that a manager can make in this case is to critically examine the rationale behind company procedures and to analyze why others might not follow them. In this case, a manager is “giving room” to an alternative way of doing things, thus helping to create a more well-rounded manager. And of course, this isn’t about imitating someone else. It’s about developing something that’s already inside you. Then I began to realize the mistake I’d been making all along. Change must begin with who you are and not who you think you should be. It was time to get to work.

 

Road to success

I spent the next three years with Etika, working on developing the management potential that I’d had all along. I’m happy to say that I now have the job of my life.

 

What about you?

Melanie’s most important discovery was that real change wasn’t about following someone else’s formula for success. It was about discovering what she already had inside her and developing it.

 

Have you discovered your hidden potential? Leave a comment below.

 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.

 

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