Four Ways to Win a Promotion

August 3, 2017

If you think you’re ready for that big promotion, be sure to take the following four steps.


Be accountable.  While accountability is an intrinsic human characteristic, employee ownership can be fostered in the right environment.  Dale Carnegie’s 17th Human Relations principle is, ‘Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.’  Leaders must be sure to define clear roles, and individual and team goals, because it’s extremely difficult to be accountable when there are ambiguous roles, goals and/or processes.  If you lack any clarity around your current role, goals, processes, etc. discuss your concerns with your manager for direction.  Should you need any resources, knowledge or assistance in attaining individual or team goals, ask.  These actions demonstrate your desire to take ownership and perform to the best of your ability.

Embrace feedback.  According to Gallup, the most engaged employees are the ones who meet with their managers at least once a week, most likely because constructive and positive feedback on a regular basis are instrumental to goal attainment.  If you don’t do this already, request to meet with your manager regularly.  Just be sure to apply Dale Carnegie’s 7th principle, ‘Be a good listener.  Encourage others to talk about themselves.’  This is your chance to ask clarifying questions not only about your responsibilities, but about your manager and employer in order to show your willingness to learn, thirst for knowledge and commitment not only to your individual team, but to the overall organization.

‘Smile,’ which is Dale Carnegie’s 5th principle, says, “I’m approachable and happy to see you.  Things are under control.”  He believed that this simple act has the power to improve any mood and countless studies have validated his belief.  Although it may feel unnatural to smile, for example if you are exhausted or frustrated, the impact of smiling is worth the little investment of two lips and one, strong positive attitude.

Do more with less.  Inevitable changes within an organization or its industry often have both large and small impacts on individual employees.  New regulations may cause some team members to be assigned subsequent responsibilities.  Budget cuts or an important employee’s resignation most likely will cause a similar outcome.  Instead of perceiving this situation as a setback, employees primed for a promotion consider it an opportunity to step up and shine.

Should you encounter such a challenge, identify three ways you and/or your team members can be more efficient.  For example, initiate morning stand-up meetings in which project progress to-date and critical, daily tasks are reviewed in less than twenty minutes vs. an entire hour-long meeting, or create a shared document in which employees can enter statuses individually so meetings are only scheduled as needed.  Dale Carnegie said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”  Bottom line—People who do more with less are more likely to be promoted.

Image: Pixabay

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