Promotions ARE easy. The problem is, you are being given really bad advice.
Most of the strategies you hear on this podcast go against the grain of the advice you’re probably receiving elsewhere right now.
I’m talking about the advice you’re getting from:
😬 Your boss
😬 Your HR department
😬 Or that ‘high potential’ leadership program your organization enrolled you in
The issue is this:
This advice, by design, isn’t going to help you get promoted. And here’s why.
- Your boss’s job is to help you get better in the role you have right now.
- Your HR department’s job is to retain you, not promote you.
- Literally, every leader at your organization is responsible for making managers like YOU perform well…in your current role.
And while you’re probably receiving lots of advice on how to do things like…
🤷♀️ Manage your team better…
🤷♀️ Hit your deliverables…
🤷♀️ And manage your time…
…these aren’t the skills the leadership team is looking for when deciding whether or not to promote you to the executive suite.
But that totally-against-the-grain work I love to do? That kind of advice sets you up to reach and flourish at the executive level.
So that’s why I’m dedicating this episode of Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer to laying out three promotion strategies that your boss (or your HR department, or the leadership team) is NEVER going to tell you.
Tune in now to discover what you need to start doing differently if you really want to get yourself into those higher level executive positions.
Want to receive the recognition you deserve, step into a higher leadership position, get paid for your ideas instead of the hours you put in at work, and enjoy more time, freedom, energy, and joy? Then you need to get your hands on a copy of Promotions Made Easy. Get your copy here.
What You'll Learn:
- The reasons why your boss is never going to tell you this advice
- Why you need to be willing to pass your boss up in order to land your next promotion
- Why it doesn’t really matter what your boss thinks
- What to do if your boss is actively blocking your next promotion
- Plus, super practical strategies for pulling your BOSS out of the weeds
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Go to StacyMayer.com/Strategies to join my email list and receive my email series, Seven Promotion Strategies that Your Boss Won’t Tell You
- Join my group coaching intensive, Executive Ahead of Time
- Get your copy of my brand new book, Promotions Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Executive Suite
- Connect with me on LinkedIn
Your next promotion is within your control, and this podcast shows you how to get there. Welcome to episode number 119. In today's episode, I'm breaking down a few promotion strategies for you that your boss will never, ever tell you. I'm giving you these strategies so that you can figure out what you need to be doing differently if you really want to get yourself into those higher-level executive positions. Listen on.
Welcome to Maximize Your Career with Stacey Mayer, a podcast about achieving your career goals while also being yourself.
Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer, and super excited, as always, to be here with you again this week. So for this week, I want to start out by saying thank goodness this podcast isn't on video. I am actually sitting in my new home office, which is actually currently mostly empty, and that means that it echoes like crazy. And I used to record my podcast out of my home office and I thought I could just seamlessly move into a new office and be able to record my podcast. But no, I cannot do that. So I had a choice between recording it in my closet or recording underneath a blanket. So I chose the blanket. And I also chose to turn this into a lesson for you, the listener in women's leadership. We talk a lot about starting before you're ready and applying for the job, even if you don't meet all of the qualifications. And the reason that this comes up a lot for corporate badass women, in particular, is because we do have such high standards and we want to do things well and we want everything to, quite frankly, be done perfectly. And I think this is actually a skill that we have and we're kind of amazing and this is part of what makes us a corporate badass. But at the end of the day, if we want to succeed at those higher levels, we're going to have to start before we're ready.
And in this particular case, I'm going to have to keep recording my podcast even before my office is designed and ready and full and no longer echoey and all of those great things. And so as I climbed underneath this blanket today, I actually thought about you and your bravery as well for showing up, for doing the work necessary, for not being afraid to have not have it all together, and for doing it anyway. It's a big deal what we're doing in the corporate world. And I want to commend you and thank you and applaud you. And I also want to teach you a few things today. So in today's episode, I am actually pulling for a recent email series that I did for my email list. And if you're not already on my email list, this is the perfect chance for you to get on it. Go to StacyMayer.com/Strategies. That's StacyMayer.com/Strategies. And when you go to this page, you're going to be able to sign up for my email list and you'll instantly receive seven promotion strategies that your boss won't tell you. Seven Promotion Strategies that your boss won't tell you. And this was such a successful email series that I gave it to my list every single day. I emailed them and let them know different ways to think about their own promotion process and why it might feel so difficult right now.
Because if your boss is the number one person who's giving you feedback on your career and the person that you're looking to for guidance and you still feel like you can't get ahead, then this might be the reason why. And the other reason why I love this email series so much is that it really kind of turned traditional leadership advice on its head. And the reason why the work that I do kind of goes against the grain, it turns traditional leadership advice. It's very surprising. It's not your typical career advice is because it's actually about your career. And most of the advice that we're given is from our company, from our human resources department, from our boss. And our boss is job is to make us better at our job. Our human resources department is actually their job is to retain us, but they're retaining us so that we're better at our job. The organization, the CEO, everybody at your company, their job is to make you better at your job. And so typically what we're being given is a set of skills advice, right? How to better manage your team, how to hit some of your deliverables, manage your time, right? Things like that that make you a better leader. And the work that I'm doing is. I just want to say brilliant, because not only does it make you more successful at the executive level. Time and time again, the women inside of Executive Ahead of Time find that they become better at their jobs.
But the actual process that we're doing is giving you the steps to begin to take ownership of your career. And the reason why taking ownership of your career actually makes you better at your job, in the long run, is because when you understand your own value, when you know your unique leadership attributes, what you bring to the table when you have unwavering confidence in yourself and your ability to problem-solve, you are a better executive. You're better for your organization. It makes sense when you hear it that way. But so many companies, they can't see it that way, and rightfully so. I don't blame them. I'm not trying to change the organizations, but I am trying to give you the tools to advocate for your own career, to create and carve your own career path so that you can get yourself into those higher-level executive positions so that you can be the change that you wish you had above you so that you can lift other leaders up at your company so that you can do all of the things that you wish were being done and set up for you so that you can work with one of your employees someday on their career development and actually mean it. So that's what I'm teaching on. My podcast is really showing you how to take ownership of your career. And then the aftereffect is that we all become better executive leaders.
So if we're going to start taking ownership of our career, if we're not going to take the typical leadership advice that's being given to us by our boss, what are we going to do instead? And so in this email series, I laid out seven promotion strategies that your boss absolutely is not going to tell you. Why would they ever tell you any of these things? And it probably doesn't even occur to them to tell you this in the first place, because this is not what they're doing for their own professional development. Or maybe it is. And they just don't want to tell you because they want to keep it to themselves so often. It's not because they're being mean or malicious, but that's why I kind of pointed that out, is that they may not even know these promotion strategies, but these strategies do work and the women inside of executive ahead of time have proven over and over and over and over again how well they work and how quickly they work. So in today's podcast episode, because the email series is quite lengthy and detailed and gives you very specific strategies and how to actually begin to implement them. So go to Stacey McCombs Strategies if you want those emails. But in today's episode, I'm really going to focus on three very specific tactics that I talked about that are actually just really going to kick start this whole process for you, the process of owning your own professional development and really being your own best advocate for your career.
So the three things that your boss will never tell you and nor should they because it would be kind of weird, is number one, to be willing to pass your boss up. Number two, it doesn't matter what your boss thinks. And number three, you need to pull your boss out of the weeds. So the first thing your boss is never going to tell you is to be willing to pass them up. And this is like it would be such a funny thing for your boss to tell you. And if they do, that's fantastic because that means they're pretty awesome, boss. But if they're not telling you, I don't fault them for this, right? They're thinking about their own career path, and where they're headed next. And you will hear some leaders and I've even had them on this podcast before talk about how they groomed their successors and how they groomed people to even leave the company. They didn't plan on doing that, but that it was a great honor when somebody who had worked for them ended up going out and getting an even bigger job or a higher title somewhere else or even within their organization. They passed them up. There's a certain amount of humility as a leader in order to be willing to let your direct reports pass you up and think about that, how do you feel when you think about your direct reports passing you up and if your first instinct is, Ah, that doesn't feel good, that's okay, we're humans, we understand.
And if your first instinct is like, Yes, I want them to pass me up, I want them to challenge me. I want them to do better than me than. Great, right. You have. I've arrived. But I want you to know that that's not the go-to that's not the normal place that all of us go to when we think about somebody passing us up. So it's okay. It's okay if you if that feels a little weird to you. But now I want you to think about it from your perspective and the willingness to pass your boss up. I talk about a process inside of Executive Ahead of Time that I break down into great detail. It's called three X in your Vision, and you've probably heard me talk about it on the podcast here before, but it's not where you want to be in your next promotion or the one after that, but where do you expect to be in three promotions from now? So that's your three X vision. What's the vision for your future in 510 years? Where do you want to be three promotions from now? So this idea of being willing to pass your boss up is to be willing to go for that three X division, to be willing to have conversations.
Let's say if you're a senior director now, to be willing to think about your role as if you were a senior vice president. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that you walk around saying, I'm a senior vice president or scheduling meetings willy nilly with people acting as if you're a senior vice president. But I want you to first notice, what would I be doing differently if I was a senior vice president instead of a senior director? And some of the things that might come to mind is I would have different relationships. I'd be having regular conversations with a different set of people. Okay, so then ask yourself, how can I start having those conversations now if I was willing to pass my boss up, if I thought I was going to have my boss's title or even my boss's boss's title someday? What would I be doing differently in my day to day? How would I be managing my time? What would I be delegating? What responsibilities would I be willing to let go of and not have being done perfectly? Start asking yourself those questions and then that's going to show you how your playing small, how you're not acting like the role you want. And again, let me reiterate, this isn't posturing. This isn't faking it, right? We're not pretending that we're in those roles. We're simply asking executive-level decisions. This is also going to pull you out of that scarcity mindset.
So basically scarcity means, you know, I'm trying to get to this next role. I'm trying to become a vice president. I really want to become a vice president. I need to figure out how to become a vice president. Right. And literally, you can feel it in your body. It's very tight. It's hard. It's difficult. But when you think about your three X vision and you're willing to pass your boss up, well, you start to find space. At the executive level, you need space to think. You have to have the space to problem solve. You can't be so deep into the weeds that you can't see the bigger picture. Again, this is why everything that I teach makes you better at your executive-level job. So everything that you're going to be doing to become that executive leader makes you a better executive. So be willing to pass your boss up. Like think about it and see how that makes you feel. See if that doesn't motivate you to have a more direct conversation with somebody higher up. See if that doesn't motivate you to let go of a meeting request. See if that doesn't motivate you to advocate for another direct report. And so I just want you to start thinking about these ideas and doing something different. The second promotion strategy that your boss will quite frankly never tell you is that it doesn't matter what your boss thinks, it doesn't matter what your boss thinks.
Now, why would a boss ever tell you this, right? They would not tell you this. They would not say, it doesn't matter what I think. Instead, what they're going to tell you is to keep doing what you're doing. Wait until the next promotion cycle. Promotions are handed out once a year. You'll know if you keep doing what you're doing. We'll see what happens. Right. All of this is really terrible advice. I disagree with all of it, but it's what your boss has to say. Or at least they feel like they have to say that because they're uncertain as well. They don't know what's next in-store. And the other reason why they're giving you that type of advice, let's wait and see, is because they know inherently that their opinion of you doesn't matter. So if you've ever been told by your boss that their hands are tied, my hands are tied. I really can't help you. It's up to the leadership team. It's whatever decision they make. That's because it's true, right? And when you hear that, you feel so frustrated, you're like, oh, no, you know, why are they telling me this? This isn't fair. But the truth is, it's not up to your boss. Think about it this way. If your boss's boss's boss wants you to be promoted, are you going to get promoted? The answer is Heck, yes, of course, you will. Your boss would have to really, really dislike you in order to not be promoted.
Now, of course, your boss's opinion of you matters. And if you've ever been blocked by a boss, you know how hard this feels if your boss doesn't like you. But what I want you to know is that it only matters so far. And so many of us are relying on our boss and our one on ones with our boss to get ahead. And then when that promotion opportunity comes up, it's too late because our boss's hands are actually tied. Our boss isn't able to do anything, and they're just sitting there wondering how they can help you, but they can't really help you, and they're trying to advocate for their own career. So the second strategy is meant for you to start to think about who are those people? Who are those key influencers at your organization whose opinions matter a lot more than your boss? At the end of the day, your boss is going to give you a check and you want your boss to like you. And hopefully, they're not a blocker of yours so that they can actually say, Yes, I approve. I want Sharon to be promoted too. But if her boss's boss is boss wants you to be promoted, you will actually be promoted. That's super fun to think about. Now, let's say that you have a boss that is actively blocking you, and it's hard not to think about the fact that your boss doesn't like you or that they seem to be controlling over your career and putting a block on it.
When you start to think that your boss's opinion doesn't matter, the other thing is, is that you loosen that grip on changing your boss and getting your boss to like you. One of the fastest ways that we can change somebody's opinion of us is to stop caring about their opinion of us. So if you think about a bully, for instance, and a bully is only fueled by your own frustration, so the more frustrated you are, the more you engage with that bully, then the harder they're going to come at you because it's fun for them. Right? They keep getting to win, but if you disengage, if you don't show up, if you just ignore them, if you don't care about what they're saying to you now if they're punching you in the face, that's different. But what I'm saying is, if you don't care, if you disengage from their behavior, then it starts to have less of a grip on you. Personally, you can act differently, you can see more possibilities, and they also tend to loosen up their grip on you as well. So you start to see, okay, well, maybe my boss doesn't like me, but I could move to a different group or, you know, or I can move to a different organization, whatever that might be.
But you start to be able to see those possibilities when you're not so married to what your boss thinks of you. So start to do that. Strategy number two is that your boss's opinion doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what they think. And the third and final promotion strategy that I'm going to talk about today is that you need to be able to pull your boss out of the weeds in chapter two of Promotions Made Easy. My book that came out last year is a step-by-step guide to the executive suite. I talk about stopping doing what you're good at. So essentially pulling yourself out of the details, out of the weeds, out of that thing that only you can do. And so many of you come to me and say, Well, I can't do that because my boss needs to know the details. My boss needs me in the weeds. My boss is in the weeds. My boss is the one having the two-hour conversations with me. I don't have a choice. I have to do this right. I have to be in the weeds. I always have to have the answers. But when you start to think about the fact that your boss needs you to pull them out of the weeds, this is so eye-opening for people. I really want you to think about what it would be like to pull your boss out of the weeds.
And this doesn't have to be complicated. It doesn't mean that you change your one on ones. It doesn't mean if you cut your boss off, it doesn't mean you stop having your one on ones altogether. It simply means that every now and then you suggest that you take a step back. You actually say those words. Let's take a step back for a minute. What are we really trying to accomplish here? That's an example of pulling your boss out of the weeds. It simply means valuing your boss's time. So let's say your boss scheduled a meeting for one hour, and now we're headed on one hour and 15 minutes. And you feel like you can't interrupt your boss because your boss is in charge, right? And your boss still has more things they want to go over. Instead, what you're going to do is you're going to value their time and you're going to say something like, Look, I know we've gone over by 15 minutes and I really value your time. What's the last thing that you want to get accomplished today? Before we go, what's the most important thing we could talk about right now? That's another example of pulling your boss out of the weeds. Another way that you can start to pull your boss out of the weeds is in your own communication. So you're going to role model this behavior. You're going to show up to your one-on-one with your boss, and you're going to summarize what it is that you want to talk about.
You're going to say, I have three things that I want to go over today. These are my main themes. Does that sound like the right path to you? And then you'll check in with them and they're like, Okay, great. And so now you're like, The first thing I want to go over with you. And then the second thing and the third thing. So you're looking at the bigger picture. You're summarizing things for them, you're pulling them out of the weeds. These are just a few examples of ways that you can pull your boss out of the weeds. But I really want you to start thinking about that idea. If you feel like you can't possibly get yourself out of the weeds because your boss is so far into them, there are ways that you can start to pull your boss out of the weeds right now. Now, the beauty of this is that your boss is going to start to respect you. The other thing I notice when women start taking this approach is that they really shift the way their boss sees them almost instantly. When I am teaching you to get promoted into that executive level, essentially what I'm doing is I'm showing you how to shift the perception that you are that executive leader. And when you start to show up as this executive leader by summarizing or by saying, let's look at the bigger picture, or by offering other approaches to the conversation, by valuing their time, that is showing them that you are ready to lead at that executive level and they start to see you as that executive level.
So many of you have as your main goal, especially the women who join executive ahead of time. I have everybody fill out a questionnaire of what they want to accomplish in this program, and I make sure that I hold them accountable for accomplishing that. And one of the things is that they want to be included in those higher-level conversations. When you start to show up in this way, when you're able to pull your boss out of the weeds, then your boss wants to include you, right? They start to trust that you can communicate to their bosses boss in a way that isn't so far into the weeds. And so this is how we start to really develop that trust and really begin to show up at that higher and higher executive level. So those are just three promotion strategies that I know. Hands down, your boss will never, ever tell you. Start them, try them out little by little. Number one, be willing to pass your boss up. Number two, it doesn't matter what your boss thinks. And number three, start to pull your boss out of the weeds. When you do this, you are not only taking ownership of your own career, but you're becoming a better executive in the process.
All right. Let me know how it goes. I can't wait to hear what you try out and otherwise I'll see you next week. Hold up. Wait a minute. Before you go, I want to tell you about the changes that I have made to the executive ahead of the Time coaching program. I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary of that program, and as a celebration, I decided to open it up for lifetime enrollment for all members. So what does that mean for you? It means that as soon as you join us inside of executive ahead of time, you get immediate access to the 24 core training modules. You will get weekly live group coaching from me and you'll also be invited to our weekly roundtable discussions where you get to connect with other peers, and other powerhouse women, all looking to advance themselves into senior executive leadership positions for life. You are going to get lifetime access to everything that I offer inside of executive ahead of time. So if you've been listening to this podcast and you resonate with everything that I share here, then run, do not walk. To join us inside of the program, go to executive ahead of Time.com to register yourself today for lifetime enrollment. The earlier you register, the more life coaching you get from me inside of the program. Go to Executive Ahead of Time.com and I cannot wait to see you inside.
About Your Host
Hi! I'm Stacy Mayer, a Certified Executive Coach and Promotion Strategist on a mission to bring more diversity to the leadership table by getting 1000 underrepresented corporate managers promoted into senior executive positions each year worldwide.
I help undervalued executives scale to the C-Suite using repositioning strategies that build your confidence and visibility, so you can earn the recognition and support you need from key stakeholders while embodying your unique leadership style.
My podcast “Women Changing Leadership with Stacy Mayer” tackles topics like executive communication, getting more respect in the workplace from challenging bosses and team members, and avoiding the common mistakes that sabotage career advancement.