A Framework for Managerial Promotion!

A Framework for Managerial Promotion!

A large group of clients from my current pool is in middle management looking to move up in their company to the next higher level and to build their brand to stay on track for their ongoing movement up the ladder. This band of managers includes those whose titles include manager, senior manager, director, senior director—and any level just below a VP. Working with thousands of clients and helping them with their promotion they were after I have codified what it takes to secure the desired promotion. In this blog I plan to present that framework with a brief description of each elements of that rubric. In a later blog I also plan to provide a similar framework for an executive promotion (up to and including CEO).

Here are the elements of the 11-element framework with a brief description of each element:

  1. Current Success Momentum: This element is mere table stakes for even being considered for a promotion to next management level. Unless you have excelled at your current job an shown consistent success in what you have taken on you are not ready to be seen as a worthy candidate for your next promotion. So, focus first on this key element. (12)
  2. Opportunity Roadmap: In your current managerial role you must have a good sense of where improvement and business opportunities are within the realm of your responsibility and a little beyond it to showcase your leadership. These can include departments, interdepartmental, and intra-company opportunity in process and methods improvement. Business opportunities include an awareness of outside view of how your company is faring in your competitive market. (8)
  3. Execution Timetable: Once you make the opportunities visible to your chain of command you can narrow your focus to those that you can take on within your realm of responsibilities and develop a timetable for their execution. Here you must also include what resources and support you need to prosecute that roadmap. (7)
  4. Management Visibility: This element has to do with how much of what you do is visible to your chain of command. Merely doing great work is never enough. You must PR it to the appropriate audience to create the visibility so that those in the executive suite are aware of your successes. You must create a robust social infrastructure to accomplish this PR work. (9)
  5. Industry Visibility: Being visible to the outside world within your industry is a key element of your brand building. In your area of expertise if industry leaders see you as a top expert then your company will go out of its way to keep you happy in your role by giving you promotional opportunities. (8)
  6. Major Opportunities Awareness: This element goes beyond what was described in #2. Major opportunities are those that bring your company industry visibility and market leadership or prominence. This can be in product, technology, management practices, or customer excellence, among other elements. In addition to the awareness of these opportunities if you can work with C-level executives in your company to execute these initiatives then you are on a track for a rapid promotion. (8)
  7. Technical Edge: One of the hallmarks of a strong manager is their technical leadership. This does not merely mean being good at just technology (software, hardware, systems, IT, or Internet) but in your field of endeavor. This can include law, medicine, retail, advertising, etc. So, having keen technical edge in your own field and being seen as a top expert helps in your promotion. (9)
  8. Scaling/Streamlining: This element has to do with how you are able to ramp-up your department’s and company’s operations to efficiently scale for growth without showing limitations due to inadequate foundation. Having a strong process, people, and methodological foundation can be invaluable for a company to seek rapid growth with your growth integrally tied to it. (8)
  9. Bench Strength/Mentoring: One of the key elements for a promotion is that you have identified your replacement. I have seen many cases where managers think that they are irreplaceable and do not develop their second-in-command to take over for them when the time comes. This is a sure-fire way to be ruled out for your next promotion. Creating a mentoring environment is also a part of this requirement. (9)
  10. Communication: Next to #1, Current Success/Momentum this single element is perhaps the most ignored item in this list. A manager’s ability to articulate their ideas and thoughts in a clear, concise, and compelling way is one of the most important underpinnings of a successful manager on a fast career track. This also includes strong presentation skills and public-speaking skill. (12)
  11. Executive Presence: For continued success on the executive ladder this is an important element in this list. Executive presence is an embodiment of many of these elements presented here, but it also requires a conscious effort to know what takes to have executive presence and how to improve yours. This is a learned skill. (10)

If you want to do a self assessment of your readiness for your next managerial promotion give yourself a score out of a number (arbitrary scale) for each element presented here in (#). Then add up your score and assess your readiness:

100-80: Promotion ready. Seek out outside opportunities if your company does not promote you

65-80: You need to do some work in your weak areas OR shore up your scores in other areas

50-65:  You must seek help, including from a career coach to shore-up your score

<50:     You may want to go back to being an individual contributor and chase the technical ladder

Good luck!

Begin the journey to your new career today.