5 Habits That Can Lead to a Promotion
Five things that will help you climb as high as your talents will take you:
1. Be a Problem Solver: The best leaders look for opportunities to apply their talents and make a difference. Make a habit of anticipating, identifying and solving problems. When you have ideas about how to do something smarter, better, or more efficiently, speak up! Your boss might not take you up on every suggestion, but your efforts won’t go unnoticed. It shows that you are proactive and engaged—indispensable leadership qualities.
2. Say Yes to Stretch Assignments: Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way—even if it seems like a reach. There’s no better way to grow professionally than by pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. By the time I became CEO, I had worked in four of our company’s five businesses, held 19 different leadership positions, and moved my family eight times for new assignments. The more challenges you master, the more opportunities you’ll receive.
3. Show How Your Work Drives Business Results: Results matter—so when you’re doing great work, make sure you keep track of the evidence. Showing your leadership how you’ve increased revenue, decreased costs, improved operations, or won customer accolades makes your value to the organization clear and tangible. This isn’t bragging or self-promotion, it’s demonstrating that you understand your organization’s objectives and are working hard to advance them. If you do, you’ll have a decisive edge when promotion time comes around.
4. Understand Your Organization’s Leadership Values: Show management you understand what they value in leaders and pursue opportunities to demonstrate that you have what it takes. At Lockheed Martin, for example, we are constantly on the lookout for employees who stand out not simply for their performance but also for their behavior. Our Full Spectrum Leadership model focuses on people who see over the horizon; who are great at building relationships; who energize and inspire others; who generate tangible results; and who embody excellence, integrity, and accountability.
5. Remember That Success Is a Team Sport: Even as you’re working to distinguish yourself, remember that no one ever makes it on their own. Demonstrate your leadership skills by helping to create a positive work environment for everyone. Pitch in when a teammate needs a hand. Share credit for good work. Take the time to really get to know your co-workers. Treat everyone with respect. Remember that the more you look out for others, the more others will look up to you.
Senior leaders spend a lot of their time focused on developing talent, building succession plans, and identifying who is ready to take on a leadership role. The success of an organization rides on doing this effectively. By practicing these five habits, you could be at top-of-mind when the next leadership position opens up.