Originally published on Linkedin – August 17, 2015
All I want to do is get people promoted.
Well, maybe that’s an overstatement, but not by much. In truth, when it comes to professional successes, seeing one of the associates on my team develop, contribute to the business at a high level and ultimately find their next step is hugely satisfying. If you are a leader who is not career planning with your associates, I would say you are doing a disservice to your associates and yourself. Career planning may not involve promotion to a new position. I have known many associates who wish to remain in their position, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be challenged. Consider ‘promoted’ to mean ‘gaining new opportunities’, either by title or by enhanced responsibility.
Here are some benefits that come from helping people promote and why it should be a primary focus.
- High Contributors Get Promoted. Basically, do what you are supposed to do by encouraging exceptional behavior that exceeds the expectation of the role and the organization. Help identify ways for your associates to make major impacts to the business and that stretch them outside of their current functional role.
- Promoting People Extends Your Network. How many times a week do you need something from another department or area of the business? I’m guessing if your work is like mine, it’s a lot. How much easier is it to reach out to someone you know? Someone you helped along in their path? In my experience it can lead to much faster response time and a great partnership.
- Promoting People Keeps You Challenged. If you have a great veteran team that is firing on all cylinders it is easy to become a more passive leader. Promoting people gives you an opportunity to bring in new talent or promote another deserving candidate internally. Now you have the opportunity to lead through change, develop a new team dynamic and start developing a new associate.
- Promoting People Makes You Look Good. It may sound selfish, but it’s true. There is no doubt about it; people want to work for someone who cares about their future. Speaking well of your associates, giving them opportunity to shine and ultimately helping them find their next step is great for your personal leadership brand. People will begin to seek out open positions on your team. Your leaders will see your skill as a developer and a positive influence on your team and company culture. Promoting people could very well lead to your own next step.
- Promoting People Makes You Feel Good. Let’s face it, seeing people you care about succeed feels great. A good leader should find their satisfaction in the achievements of others and promoting is one of the greatest achievements you can help to influence.
Your career is not a race to your next step. Some days it may feel that way and I’ve felt that way at times in my life. My father was in the army and we celebrated each new rank he achieved. For a long time I thought the goal was always to reach the next rank. Don’t get me wrong, celebrate each new step. But don’t climb for the sake of climbing. Everyone should take time to enjoy the place in which they are. If you are leading people, part of your responsibility and enjoying where you are is helping people find their next step.