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How to Get Ahead in Your Company - Executive Leadership

Are you wanting to get ahead at work? Or perhaps you’re brand new to a company and making a plan that will ensure you get promoted as quickly as possible over the coming years? In any case, the simple fact that you have your eyes on the future and you want to take on more responsibilities and get promoted to a more senior role is a wonderful thing. It means you don’t just “show up to work” and do the bare minimum. This by itself helps you to stand out from the crowd. Now the question is, how do you best stand out from the crowd? Here are four tips to help you get noticed and increase your chances of getting a promotion:

1 - Show That You are Confident


Before you can ask anyone else to believe in you, you need to have faith in yourself. If your boss sees that you are a capable and confident person, they are more likely to see you as a serious candidate and consider you for a promotion. The trick is to figure out where confidence comes from. Often times we think of confidence that we are born with or not. This is just not true. Confidence can be learned and practiced like any other skill. First, think about what you bring to the company and what your strengths are. Second, think about the areas where you need to grow the most. If you are like the rest of us, some of these areas of growth can seem overwhelming and scary. This is the first sign that you are working on an area of your life where building confidence is at play. The solution is actually rather simple. Not easy, but simple. The way to build confidence is to do something even when it scares you. This is what confident people do. They face their fears and make a conscious decisions to do it anyway. Think about riding a bike. It may have been scary at first but most of us wanted to ride a bike so badly that we tried to ride a bike anyway. And after a few crashes and some bruised knees, we finally figured it out. And once that happens, we had the confidence to ride a bike. Simply put, confidence comes after we do something that seems difficult.

If you need help improving your confidence, it may make sense to get a life coach to guide you and help you structure a plan to boost your confidence.

2 - Prioritize Your Work


If you want to get recognized and be respected, it’s time to change how you do your work. Instead of just working through whatever task is in front of you, reshuffle your work and focus on the high priority jobs. Do the things which will make an impact on your department and company first. Make it the highest quality possible and deliver it before any and all deadlines. Too often, we do the easy work first. Unfortunately, the easy work isn’t what makes us stand out. Your team leaders will notice these changes and it will put you in good standing for the next promotion.

3 - Ask to be Promoted


If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. Your supervisors aren’t mind readers, and if you don’t inform them of your wishes for a higher position, you may never get promoted. Never be embarrassed to ask about a promotion. By stating your intentions, you are demonstrating that you’re ambitious and decisive. Discuss with your manager the accomplishments you’ve made for the company and be clear about your desire for a promotion.

4 - Increase Your Visibility & Build Relationships


A great way to be considered for a promotion is to increase your visibility. Offer to work on significant and high-profile jobs, suggest innovative solutions, and demonstrate your talents. If you do this successfully, your hard work and dedication will soon be recognized and rewarded. Get to know everyone, both staff and managers. Go to work on building genuine relationships with as many people as you can. Help others as often as you can. People help and support people that they like. Be likable. You will gain a competitive advantage for the next senior vacancy by having better knowledge of the company and a wider range of skills. Take it a step further and volunteer yourself for interdepartmental committees.

Bonus - Lead, Manage and Coach


If you have direct reports, it’s critical that you are the best possible leader, manager and coach for each and every one of them. Lead them by inspiring them around the future you are all working towards. Manage them by holding them accountable in a way that is supportive to their growth (see this article for more information on supportive accountability). And coach them by providing whatever support they need to be successful. And remember, coaching is only coaching if they ask for it (so the key is to get them to ask for it!).

Now that you know the steps required to get ahead in your job, make a plan and implement them immediately. You want to stand out and have the support of your peers when you eventually apply for your dream position in the company.



Core Idea:

In order to get ahead in your company, you should practice the 4 main steps - display confidence, prioritize work, ask for a promotion & build relationships.

Key take away:

Deciding to go for a higher position is half the battle, you're already standing out above other staff.

About the author(s):

Tom Willis is a Co-Founder and Partner with Phoenix Performance Partners. He had the great honor of serving as CEO for Cornerstone; a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers; and an engineer with the Intel Corporation. His life is all about helping others uncover their talents so they can reach their unlimited potential and their organization can thrive.

| Linkedin: Tom

Brad Zimmerman is a Co-Founder and Partner with Phoenix Performance Partners. Zimmerman turned to organizational coaching more than 26 years ago following a successful career in sales and operations. Today, he helps businesses, nonprofits and other organizations develop cultures that transform work environments so people grow and the organizations thrive.

| Linkedin: Brad


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