You’ve put in your time, done all the work, and you’re ready to climb up to the next rung on your career ladder.
It’s time to get that promotion, and move up to a leadership role.
A role that will give you a new title, a raise in pay, and something much more valuable – a chance to make a difference, and show the way.
The question is, are you ready?
Or really better said, does your boss think you are ready?
In the end, that’s the question that matters, and I’m sure you’d love to be able to crawl inside that person’s head and find out what he or she is looking for.
Unfortunately, Vulcan mind melds haven’t yet been perfected on this earth, so what to do?
The good news is, fellow blogger and personal development guru Dan Schawbel has done a great deal of research on how you can demonstrate promotable skills, and is about to share them with us in his new book “Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success”.
There’s a lot of good stuff in there, including what Dan’s reasearch group considered to be the top 4 factors managers consider when deciding on a promotion:
- Being able to prioritize your work and meet deadlines
- Having a positive attitude
- Working well with your team
- Putting the team’s best interest ahead of your own
Here’s my take on each of them, from the perspective of someone who has promoted his share of leaders during a 30 year corporate career.
1 – Effectively managing a “to do” list is one of those skills that reveals much more than you would think. I’ll explain it this way – how many times have we moved that “hardest thing” down the list in favor of the easier thing? It takes courage to do the hard stuff first, and when I see that in someone, that’s a big leg up on a promotion (see a post I wrote about this here).
2 – Positive, but not Pollyanna positive - that’s what I look for. Take a look at the masthead on this blog – “dealing with the literal world in a positive way“. I strongly believe that great leaders MUST look at their world from this “half-full” perspective. If used well, and tempered with realism, it can turn “grey into great” (see more here).
3 – If you’re spending most of your time at your desk (or hovering over your computer and/or smartphone) and not interacting unless it’s absolutely necessary (or ordered), then you’re probably not well suited to be a leader. When interactions are happening, I always look to see if the aspiring leader is displaying some of what I consider to be the key team-building traits – like trust, respect, authenticity, and honesty.
4 – This is a critical one for me – the “why do I want to be a leader?” question. Is it just for personal gain, and that raise? Or is it because the person truly wants to help other people, and by doing that, create happiness and fulfillment for themselves? Selflessness is so important to great leadership - if it’s not there, it’s a dealbreaker for me.
Thanks Dan for doing this the research, and sharing it with us in your new book.
And to my fabulous readers, thank you, and lead well!