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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

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Robert Locke

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

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

More Resources About Achieving Business Success

Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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