How can you position yourself for that next big role?
This is always tricky because, by definition, you’ve never done that next big role. That’s why it’s the next big role. It’s a little bit like needing to have a job to get a job, or needing to have money to make money.
I was recently thinking about this in the situation of Adam Gase, who was recently named the Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins. He’s the youngest Head Coach ever in the American NFL football league, he has never been a Head Coach before, and he never even played beyond high school.
So how did he do that?
I’m going to couple his experiences – as I’ve read about them – with my own, through my own career and through coaching, to give you these six points.
1. Make sure you know what the next role is
It’s so much easier to get that big promotion if you’re clear in your own mind that this is your goal. Having clarity allows you to gear up mentally, behave confidently, and attract the help and support of others.
So whether it’s Adam Gase wanting to be a Head Coach one day, or you might be shooting to be head of your department, CEO, Prima Ballerina, whatever it might be, you want to know what that next big goal is and go for it.
2. Know who the key stakeholders are
Who are going to be some of those decision makers? The reason it’s important to know is that every person has a different view of what makes you promotion ready.
Some people look at your performance in the past. Others look at your potential going forward. Most of us look at all of the above.
So you’ve got to get clear on what they’re looking for and what they’re measuring you on.
3. Have a platform on which to perform
Whatever your platform is, use that to demonstrate what you can do. Demonstrate the value you can bring and how good you are at the important pieces that lead up to that next role.
In Adam Gase’s case, he was a quarterback coach and he made his quarterbacks even more successful. So think about what that equivalent would be for you.
4. Do the work
Not only do you have to do the work, you have to stay committed to doing the work.
With Adam Gase, they write about him doing the grunt work, the stuff that nobody wanted to do, and that he also didn’t get those Head Coaching job offers right away. So he had to have a plan B and, when he had to implement plan B, he kept working hard and producing even more results.
So you want to keep staying committed because these things don’t just fall into your lap.
5. Build your community
Build a community of what I call ‘raving fans’. These are people who are your mentors, your advocates. In Adam Gase’s case, it was including those players, those quarterbacks he coached, like Tim Tebow, Peyton Manning at the Broncos, Jay Cutler at the Bears.
So when you make somebody good, great, and when you make somebody great, even greater, then they become your raving fans.
By the way, those raving fans were important because when the owner of the Miami Dolphins asked around of the people he trusted, “Who should I choose as Head Coach?”, Adam Gase’s name kept coming up.
6. Have the conversation
Find the right time and the right way to have the conversation about what do you need to do to make it a not ‘if’ I’m going to get promoted but ‘when’ type of situation.
I remember back to my earlier days and having the conversation with the Head of the department about my prospects for promotion. It was great when he finally said to me, “Look, May, it’s not a question of if you’re going to make Managing Director; it’s a question of when.” That’s when I knew I could relax a little bit and focus on getting the work done that I needed to get done.
So those are just six ways, or six ideas, for you to get going on putting yourself in a position to get promoted to that next big role. You can’t work on six things at once, so I want you to just pick one or two to focus on.
Now, here is a question for you:
What are the ways you’ve found to be most effective in positioning yourself for that next big role?
Maybe it’s something you’ve already done, or maybe it’s something you’ve seen others do. Scroll down, leave a comment and share that with us.