If we are in business we are in one of two camps, either wanting to be promoted or we are looking for talent to promote. Sometimes, like in my past corporate life, I was in both! But what are some characteristics of someone ready and worthy of promotion? While there are several characteristics, this episode focuses on the 2 key traits of a promotable leader.
The first trait is so simple, most people actually screw it up or miss it. It is: do your current job really well. That’s right! Do what you have been tasked with doing. So many people want to prove that they can handle the work at the next level, that they don’t do their current job well.
I can’t promote you into a more senior role, with more responsibility around the same tasks and work, if you can’t prove you can do that work well to begin with. Sad but true.
Most people confuse the idea of “showing they can do more” with this perspective. I promise, if you can exceed expectations by delivering in your current role, or if you find someone who is doing that, that’s who you want to promote to the next level. They should be able to easily teach direct reports how to perform the role they were just in, as well as know enough about the processes and routines to help their team execute effectively.
The second key trait is that the person has to be able to deescalate drama. I’m not talking about drama between two individuals, I’m talking about business drama. Situations that come up within the business that most people panic about or stress over. Those individuals who can keep their focus, rally the teams, and come up with a sound solution is your future leader. S/he focuses on the tasks at hand and doesn’t let emotion get the best of him or her.
Your challenge today is to think about yourself through this lens if you want to be promoted, or think about your team through this lens if you are a leader developing talent. Either way, do you see these 2 key traits? If not, how do you change that within yourself, or how do you set the expectation within your team that these are the two primary traits you need to see in someone before they can be promoted?