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8 Ways To Let Your Boss Know You’re The Next To Be Promoted

8 Ways To Let Your Boss Know You’re The Next To Be Promoted

Do you really want to know how to tell your boss that you are the next to be promoted? Here are eight strategies that you can implement right now. This is not a quick fix, so plan your moves carefully over the next few weeks and months. You want to be in a very strong position when the time comes, and you also need to be ahead of the competition.

1. Talk to your line manager about your plans

The performance assessment is a great opportunity to talk about your career path and what jobs you think you can apply for. Note, you are not asking for a promotion at this point. However, you can talk about how you see your career progressing:

  • Talk about your present and future role in new projects
  • Remind your manager of your ongoing skills development
  • Stress how your work ethic is a perfect match with the corporate strategy
  • Reflect on areas where you can improve and ask for feedback

Don’t waste time on talking about the great rapport you have with your manager or in paying compliments.

2. Work on your people skills

No mystery here. You need to have an excellent working relationship with everybody in your department and also in other sections. That means attending all work-related events and networking with colleagues across the spectrum. If you are well known in the company, this is a great help in moving up the ladder. It is also extremely useful if you decide to make a lateral career move that would be a better skills match.

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“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J.Meyer

3. Be punctual and up to speed

There is nothing worse in a manger’s eye than those employees who arrive late and leave a few minutes early. Clock watchers are rarely in a strong position to get promoted. One simple, effective strategy is to always arrive five minutes early and to also work five to ten minutes extra before going home. This is a very wise time investment.

You also need to be thoroughly prepared on the policies and projects in which the company is involved. This may mean studying policy documents and refreshing your knowledge of the marketing plan. Show that you are really up to date on what is happening. Forward relevant news articles by email to all colleagues, not forgetting management!

4. Follow the company dress code

A great idea is to dress for your next position. Observe how the top management dresses. Investing in poise and elegance is smart. That will be one thing less to think about when you are promoted. Your wardrobe is already taken care of!

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5. Study application procedures carefully

It may well be that the position you want will be advertised and the whole recruitment procedure will have to be followed. Study all the documentation carefully and follow the steps as if you were an external candidate. There is no guarantee that as an internal candidate you will be let off the hook as regards matching the recruitment criteria. In fact, figures show that only about 33% of internal candidates get the job they want. Very often, the competition from the external candidates is much stiffer. No need for complacency.

6. Go for skills training

Always apply for training in new skills that will help your career, when they come up. Keep an eye on the ones that are particularly suitable for the job promotion you want.

You may have to grit your teeth and apply for team-building courses, which are physically demanding. But there will be other courses on IT, customer relations, marketing skills, and financial procedures that will also be extremely useful in extending your skills portfolio.

This shows the management that you are never static or stuck in a rut and that you are the obvious choice for promotion. No harm to remind your line manager now and again in a casual way about what courses you have done. It can be a subtle way of showing how you are growing into the new job.

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7. Groom your successor

If you can, choose a colleague who needs training but also shows promise. The idea is to start grooming this candidate so that when you are promoted, this person will be a suitable replacement. You want to avoid the situation where you have become indispensable in your position. Point out a likely successor who has demonstrated capability under your guidance. This will help you enormously.

8. Learn about how to communicate

No use in hiding your light under a bushel and not making your mark. You will be passed over for promotion if you do that. Being a passive worker is not going to get you anywhere.

This is why you need to be proactive. Ask pertinent questions and make suggestions at meetings and training sessions. Apart from doing your job exceptionally well, this is really the best way to keep a high profile. Otherwise, nobody will know you are there. Communication skills are crucial.

“Intelligence, knowledge or experience are important and might get you a job, but strong communication skills are what will get you promoted.” – Mireille Giuliano

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Follow these eight steps to let your boss know that you are next to be promoted. If you can implement all these, you will never need to suck up to your line manager. It will be so obvious that you are the one that there will be very little persuasion to do. Now, which strategy are you going to start with?

Featured photo credit: Job Expo/City of Marietta, GA via Flickr

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on April 9, 2020

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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