Every company has nomenclature for this. You’ve done a great job in your current role. You have built a strong, thriving team and your business is delivering all key metrics. But maybe management still hasn’t expanded your scope. Why not? Are you “ready to promote”?

Functional capabilities and business deliverables are a must.

Do you have aligned targets outlined on an updated work plan? Have you clearly documented your results, and do you have regular work plan reviews with your boss? If so, you should have plenty of data to validate your functional capabilities.

KPI checklist | ready to promote

People leadership is equally important.

How are your people doing? Is morale high and is turnover low? Are people growing and getting promoted in your group? Your people management capabilities should also be supported with clear data.

People leadership | ready to promote

So, why aren’t you getting promoted?

There are some Career Limiters that may not make the work plan, but matter very much when leaders are assessing readiness. Some refer to these as “soft skills”, but I think they’re just as tangible and important as the others.

In fact, these are the factors that can hold you back. Conversely, when these characteristics are demonstrated positively, they can accelerate your career and promotion.

  1. How do you view your peers? Are you still in a zero-sum mindset, where only one of you can be #1? If so, competitive behavior will reveal your mindset. You will not come across as mature, professional, or ready for promotion as someone who engages positively with peers. So, reach out to peers, ask how you can support them, and show that you’re in it for their success as well as your own!
  2. How do you react to feedback? Do you pause to internalize, seeking to extract value from the interaction? Or are you already formulating your defense? Your boss isn’t likely to promote you if they don’t feel they can have a productive engagement with you on opportunity areas. After all, everyone’s got them at every level. And those who are seen as ready for the next step are most open to learning and developing.
  3. Are you a consistent leader? Demonstrating measured, consistent self-leadership is important at senior levels, because gives your people a sense of comfort and safety… they know what to expect. If you struggle to control your emotions, and are prone to outbursts, you may not be seen as ready for the next level. Both those above and below will want to know they can rely on you for consistent leadership.

How do you rate yourself on these 3 attributes?

To sum them up, I’d name an overarching concept, “Self-leadership.” How are you leading yourself? Because if you’re not leading yourself well, you aren’t positioned to lead others well. I guess most of us aren’t trying to react poorly to feedback, or exhibit inconsistent emotions. So, one or all of these attributes may pose a blind spot. If you think that may be the case, I suggest conducting a little research. Take this simple visual to at least 10 people who work with you. Ask them to fill it out and return anonymously. You’ll quickly gauge how you’re perceived, and enable yourself to pivot to a more productive level. You’ll be, and be seen as, “Ready to Promote.”

Ready to promote checklist | feedback form

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