Raising the level of your leadership

Where Do Carrots (Job Advancement) Come From?

BugsCarrotAsk a group of 3-year-old preschoolers where carrots come from and don’t surprised if you hear “from rabbits.” Adults answer a lot of “where” questions wrong also. In the 1st “carrots” post, I discussed “Where does job security not come from?” The 2nd “carrots” post was “Where does job security come from?” This 3rd (and last) “carrots” post is “Where does job advancement come from?”

So you have a job, you are doing the things that give you a reasonable sense of security, and now, you have your eyes set on a promotion—maybe even the corner office. You want more pay, more responsibility, more ways to contribute to your organization’s success. Great! Go for it!

There are a lot of great resources on how to climb the company ladder. They talk about vision, strategy, knowledge, education, and so on—all important. But there are a few other things you need to consider before you launch on the path toward the top.

In no particular order:

  • You need a secure fort. The path up often includes long hours and long trips. Who will hold down the fort as you climb? For me, it was my wife Dottie. She gave me the freedom to hop on a plane with no notice because a customer needed me in Japan…or St. Louis…or…. There is more than one way to secure the fort, but you must have a plan. After several “no, I can’t go today” answers, you likely won’t be asked again.
  • You need to be people centric. You can only lead people. One element of job security is being a co-worker and team member. Job advancement depends on being able to lead people. Notice I did not say boss or control people.
  • You need to set self aside. You won’t have much time for self. Your job, your family, your church, your lawn and so on are going to soak up most of your free time. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
  • You need a strong core and thick skin. Every higher rung on the ladder adds the weight of responsibility. Leading 10 is heavier than leading yourself; 100 is heavier than 10; 1000 is heavier than 100, and so on. Plus, with leadership comes criticism. If you crumble under the weight of responsibility or criticism, climbing the ladder may not be for you.
  • You need to make a conscious decision to climb the ladder. There is a cost. Make sure that you and your family are really willing to pay it.

I am not trying to discourage you from seeking job advancement. I am trying to caution you to go for it with your eyes wide open. Happy climbing—or not.

If this post was interesting and useful, please forward it to friend.

© Copyright 2014 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company.

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