There are a few behaviors you might exhibit that can hold you back from getting a promotion.
Not making accommodations for your team tells your boss that you aren’t ready for more leadership responsibilities.
Portraying a disbelief in the company itself, or failing to maintain focus, are two other major red flags to your supervisors.
In the many years since I started my first company, I’ve had my fair share of experience promoting people. Any good leader wants his or her employees to succeed.
Sometimes, though, that desire to help good workers can blind us to the truth.
Some of the people I’ve promoted from within have made me infinitely proud, but others have filled me with regret. The difference between them? Some wanted a fancier title; some actually wanted to succeed long-term.
1. You refuse to make accommodations for your team.
Selfishness is a huge red flag. Leading a team or growing a business means sacrificing personal time and energy.
One individual I promoted, for example, left work at the same time every day, even if a surprise need arose. Nothing was more important to the employee than leaving on time. This employee wasn’t cut out for the flexibility leadership demands — and didn’t find the demands of a higher-paying and more responsibility-filled role worth the personal sacrifice — and soon left the company.
If you find yourself unable to accommodate your team’s needs, start with some inner reflection. Leaders are expected to always be on their game, and it takes a mature person to admit when he’s suffering burnout or otherwise not at his best. Be willing to recognize when you’ve stumbled or when you need a break. I’ve had to force myself to take a day off to recharge, and those aiming for leadership positions should know when they need to do the same.
To make sure everyone at my company gets the break he needs, I ensure everyone has the ability to take personal days off in addition to sick and vacation time. I have made it a top priority to both set an example by taking personal days off and opening a dialogue so all of my employees understand how important it is to recharge.
2. You act like a buddy instead of a leader.
Immaturity can also prevent good employees from becoming great leaders. I once promoted a dedicated employee, but the moment I left him in charge, our office atmosphere rapidly shifted from startup to frat house. Truth was, he was trying too hard to fit in with his old crowd while his new title and responsibilities set him outside his former circle. Soon, he was not in the circle — or even in the office.
He struggled to balance being responsible with being everyone’s friend, and it hurt our company, so I had to make changes to keep the majority of the team from either revolting or leaving. Leaders should encourage open, honest dialogues — but they should stay office-appropriate and should avoid veering toward too-personal territory.
Managers can care about their employees and still hold employees professionally accountable. Being understanding when a co-worker has to care for a sick child, for example, and picking up any slack an absence might create, is looking out for the team’s best interest and demonstrates the empathy, honesty, and trust necessary for any good relationship. But trying to stay best friends with direct reports is a recipe for cries of favoritism and the resulting resentment. Make sure your emotions aren’t getting in the way of your behavior or decision-making.
3. You portray disbelief in the company itself.
If an otherwise rock-star employee doesn’t think the company has a future, no amount of compensation will change that outlook. I once cut my own salary to give a great employee a promotion, but I soon realized he didn’t think the company could thrive. His negativity affected the entire team.
If you don’t wear on your sleeve your passion for your company and its mission, try getting creative. Nothing shows initiative more than providing new ideas, for example. Good leaders don’t wait for others to bring them good ideas; they research, brainstorm, and bring ideas to life. Have some downtime? Hop on Google and find out what’s going on in your industry.
Take those findings to your manager with a suggestion for a new piece of content or a project. When leaders see that you’re always thinking about ways to improve the company and that you’re willing to bring those ideas forward, they’ll know you have what it takes. And discovering possibilities for the future of your work might be just the spark you need to reignite your passion for and belief in your company’s mission.
4. You fail to maintain focus.
Leaders who can’t stay focused risk hurting the company, too. How can they keep the team on track if they themselves can’t?
I once promoted an employee who did amazing work in a supporting role but was a terrible leader — too many last-minute developments and a lack of communication and clarity from this person made for a difficult atmosphere that no one appreciated. When it came to oversight and project management, the employee gave too many directives that lacked clear purpose. The team suffered because other workers didn’t understand their roles or the reason they were assigned specific tasks. When asked questions, this leader would respond simply, “Just go do this task” or “Let’s get this done in the spring,” never offering clarification.
In this case, one thing was clear: The leader had no understanding of a project’s ultimate goal or which resources were necessary to complete it. I quickly realized that this person should return to the work she loved: the tasks that had held her attention and focus.
No matter what, leaders need to maintain sharp focus on the tasks at hand, on business results, and on the people they lead. Employees going for a promotion should set frequent goals for themselves that align with the company’s goals, as goal-setting and staying focused on the long term is what drives business and keeps employees happy.
Most leaders like to promote from within, but some traits will make any boss hesitant to promote even high-performing employees. Quash your questionable behaviors to make sure your boss knows you’re ready for the big leagues.
Daniel Wesley is a Florida-based entrepreneur with a degree in nuclear medicine. His work has been featured in Forbes, Mashable, The Huffington Post, Fox Small Business, Entrepreneur and TIME Magazine. He is currently the chief evangelist at Quote.com,inspiring his team one word at a time. You can find him on LinkedIn.
Source| Business Insider