Top 5 Reasons You Haven’t Been Promoted

Jul 3, 2012
5 Min Read

So you have been with your organization for a couple of years and your job and responsibilities haven’t changed much. You may have seen junior people slowly become more senior and your peers have job titles that you would like to match. Sure, you could move to a different company, but if your skillset or behavior is holding you back, you’ll experience the same fate there after a few months as well. Here are five common roadblocks to an accelerated career path:

Inability to Develop Others

You may be technically brilliant, but you don’t know how to encourage the development of similar expertise in others. Perhaps the combination of a results-driven demeanor and a fast-paced workplace stand in the way of you being patient with your employees’ long-term development. The danger is that you might favor similarly competent individuals, and neglect those you don’t immediately see as having potential. Without your interest, support, and enthusiasm for their career, your team will not grow and performance will stagnate.

Uncertainty Paralyzes You

You know your job or department inside out and you are perhaps the best at your individual role. But when change comes (and it always does), and you need to think creatively  or make a decision with limited information, you fall short of expectations and turn to others to make the decisions or require their assistance.  People need to trust that you are going to take responsibility for your area, take action even if that includes taking risks, and that you will own it and react well when consequences arise.

Your Image is Not So Good

Your superiors are less concerned about your ability to handle the position and more concerned about what others will think. This might sound grossly unfair, but success rarely depends on just one individual and requires collaboration and teamwork. If others can’t accept you as a leader and/or partner, your career will be stalled.

You Are Too Nice

A rise in management level often means more conflict, confrontation, and difficult conversations. And generally, agreeable people are well-liked, well-supported, and often do make great leaders. But if you can’t give tough feedback, you can’t speak directly and clearly, you avoid all negativity, or if you try to please everyone, people will fear that you will quickly become intimidated with the additional responsibility you’ll encounter.

You Aren’t Systematic

You like to make things up as you go, find documenting things tedious and prefer to do real work, and you don’t worry much about problems until you encounter them. You don’t always do things the same way (which is good in terms of innovation and being able to react quickly) and things change so fast anyway, so you see no need for developing processes, practices, or procedures for getting things done. The problem here is that you tend to create situations where everyone is reliant on you and, should anything happen, your work is not easy duplicated. It is risky to give this type of person a significant amount of responsibility.

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