Chasing a promotion

“My performance reviews are always positive, yet I was recently passed up for a much-anticipated promotion.

When a mountain climbing team is being put together, the leader will choose not only the most technically competent climbers, but also those who possess personal characteristics that enable them to stay calm and think through life saving strategies in dangerous situations. Hiring and promoting the best person for the right position is one of the most important tasks a CEO does. The ability to recognize potential talent, and nurture that talent will exceed the value of the CEO’s own personal contribution.
A corporation’s culture will often influence whether outstanding performers are chosen because they are young, energetic, and full of new ideas, or if they are more experienced, wiser, and disciplined. One will need to patiently wait for promotions in a company that values experience and discipline. Therefore, the higher one moves up the career ladder, the more important it is to achieve results that match the fundamental spirit and beliefs of the company.
Chemistry is often a word used to address the intangible feelings of fitting with the values and attitudes of a CEO and his team. Being on the same wavelength will keep the team cohesive and induce the CEO’s trust. Consider:


  • Relax and work on your people skills. Seek ways to motivate others to get results. Intelligence and technical capability aren’t always enough.
  • Be sensitive to how your boss makes decisions. Speak his/her language – one boss needs statistics, the other relates to pictures.
  • The sure fire way to find out what your boss looks for in people he/she promotes is to ask before the promotion opportunity arises.
  • Initiate “volunteerism”. Leap at chances to stand out in front of management. Avail yourself of every chance to interact with a broad base of people in the company.
  • Talk to your boss. Find out his/her favorite projects and get involved in those, while avoiding those he or she doesn’t like.
  • Initiate cost reductions in your department, instead of always asking for a bigger budget.


Article prepared by Renée LeMoine, Executive Director, LeMoine & Associates

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