Amidst all the chaos and distractions this year, one powerful phenomenon is flying under the radar. Tons of chances for leadership promotions are emerging. But they’ll only go to those who used 2020 to prepare for them. I’m so fortunate to work with individuals who hire me to coach them to achieve a Predictable Promotion®. Major organizations often reach out to give me six months to get someone ready. I share with them the new rules of the road. Here are my five new leadership strategies for the pandemic era. These have proven successful for my clients, who are getting promoted despite all the uncertainty and rapid change.
1) Create Your Promotional Future
Peter Drucker said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” There are so many organizations desperate to promote leaders who have what it takes to lead during this historic time. Many of you may be able to ascend to higher levels by direct promotion. Or you can leverage what I call the zigzag approach. With that strategy you position yourself for a lateral or diagonal promotion. You target a new role that will broaden your experience within another organization department or specialty. That adds an enhanced and more valuable portfolio of skills and expertise to your resume. With that refined and developed toolkit you’ll be perfectly positioned and qualified for your dream promotion.
2) Bring Bigger Value to Big Conversations
So many people work remotely today. But you still have to project leadership presence, energy, and insight. Every high-stakes meeting is your audition for the promotion you want. Assert your ideas with clarity, confidence, and influence. Choose the right language and tone. Maintain a consistent level of interactive engagement. Practice succinct articulation of concepts, in ways that resonate with the needs and goals of stakeholders. Instead of leaning in to steal the spotlight, help move everyone forward as a real team asset.
3) Share Your Specific Career Goals
Whether you get a formal or informal remote performance update, highlight the value you’ve brought to the organization during the pandemic. What are you doing to lead a productive team, even while collaborating remotely? How do you keep teams focused, efficient, and inspired despite the challenges? Back that up with specific strategies you’ve implemented or quantifiable performance benchmarks. Show how your career goals align with the new hybrid way of working in the future. That will assure a bright future for you as an essential leader.
4) Engage in Proactive Outreach to Your Boss
Since you are rarely seeing your boss in person, be proactive to reach out to them with updates. Share your accomplishments and team victories. Celebrate those wins, because they also make your boss look good. Remember, your bosses are under pressure, too, in a difficult time. Ask them how you can help them to relieve some of the work that’s on their plate. Approach a boss with an offer like that and they’ll always remember you. As I tell my clients, it’s harder to get noticed when working remotely. You have to put extra efforts into driving these conversations to stay top of mind.
5) Volunteer to Lead a Post-Pandemic Task Force
Right now organizations are looking for leaders to navigate the return to office or implement hybrid working procedures. Offer to lead a task force, assume greater responsibility, and make this vital transition go smoothly. Those who get promoted faster are the ones who leap at the chance to go beyond the call of duty. With so much downsizing, organizations want leaders willing to expand their area of responsibility and accountability. Every organization needs next-level leaders for the next level of their pandemic reorganization plan. Distinguish yourself as prequalified for that role and a Predictable Promotion® will be inevitable.
Organizations are vigorously promoting to position themselves for the new reality. Don’t succumb to a negative mindset, wallow in frustration, or lose sight of career goals. Follow my 5-point process. Upgrade your skill level and keep yourself relevant. Trust me, you can win the kinds of predictable promotions my clients are achieving, in record time.
Sarah’s 3 Accelerator Questions
One of my recent clients was frustrated that she wasn’t already promoted. I had to point out about specific ways that her leadership team thought she needed more development.
- Are there opportunities to enhance your remote-working executive presence, communication skills, and ability to persuade and inspire?
- What is your personal game plan for getting ideally positioned for a new promotion based on compelling performance?
- Who do have to rely on for one-on-one support, encouragement, honest feedback, and holding you accountable?
My recent client was promoted after just a few months of working with me. Your dream promotion is also within reach. But now is the time to seize your big chance with a proven approach.