Ep #61: How to Communicate to the Leadership Team that You’re Ready for Growth
Have you ever seen someone in your organization raise their hand for a promotion that they absolutely did not deserve?
You know the type: title obsessed but unwilling to do the work necessary to become a great executive leader.
If your answer is ‘yes’, you know how downright discouraging it can be, especially when that person is (somehow) able to rise all the way to the C-Suite.
But here’s something I know about you:
You are not one of those people.
You want to truly, authentically, make an impact at your organization.
You actually care about the work that you do and you want to make a bigger difference in your company, your community, the world.
That’s why this episode is dedicated to you.
In this episode of Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer, I’m giving you the tools you need to stand out from the pack and show the leadership team that you’re ready to do what it takes to grow.
I’ll also dive into the reasons why you haven’t landed your next promotion already (even though you’re a talented, qualified professional who deserves it!) and I’ll give you a practical, step-by-step path to make it happen.
What You'll Learn:
- Why most people fail when advocating for a promotion
- What being told you need to ‘speak up’ actually means
- Why you need to value your growth
- Why being told “no” can actually make you a better leader
- Exactly why getting yourself ready for promotion ‘behind the scenes’ is such a bad idea
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
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 guys again this week. I am pretty pumped. We just passed the halfway mark of Executive Ahead of Time, my group coaching intensive program, where I give you all the tools to set yourself up for your next promotion and to actually have success once you get there.
And this group, just like the last group, has had some pretty spectacular success. So before I get into today's episode, I just want to share with you something interesting that's coming up as part of these programs that I offer.
So in this process, I do something called 3xing your vision. And you've probably heard me talk about that here on the podcast, where I encourage you not to look just at your next opportunity, but your next, next opportunity.
So if you're in a director-level position, we're looking at becoming senior vice president. So a couple of levels up. Your next, next promotion. So if we're just looking at titles. There's also all kinds of different types of promotions that could happen in between.
But we're going to start to make decisions from that place. So what would you do if you were in a senior vice president position today? So this is all part of becoming the Executive Ahead of Time.
And an interesting thing that comes up for people when they start to do this is that they start to see how they're holding themselves back from stretching outside of their organization. So essentially what ends up happening is they end up applying for jobs at other companies. Sometimes. Sometimes they'll apply for jobs internally. But we've had, in particular, three women that have branched out. They have seen job opportunities pop up while they're a part of this program. And what's happening is they're thinking bigger. They're not limiting themselves. They're starting to get curious about what else is out there. And so they're like: 'Oh, I'll just throw my hat into the ring. This position is a promotion, or it's a company I never thought about, but I'm just going to throw my hat into the ring.'
So this is something that happens when you're surrounded by really powerful corporate leaders who are doing big things in the world, is you start to believe that you can and should do big things in the world as well. So you throw your hat into the ring.
And for each of these women, what's happened is, they have actually received the job offers. Well, two of them and then a third one is still in the running for it. So I wanted to just share with you why this is such a powerful thing and how you can begin to start implementing that as well in whatever your career.
So, first of all, let me offer to you, if you are at all interested in joining our next group, we're starting in March, in mid-March, and registration opens at the end of February. So make sure you go to ExecutiveAheadofTime.com to put your name on the waitlist.
And the reason why I say this is because one of the bonus offerings. So we have our group training program, which is really magnificent, gives you all of these tools. But as a bonus, I've added my interview mastery training. So this is actually because so many people start to do this work, they start to interview. And how do you interview at that executive level? And what are the things that they're looking for in executive level interviews?
So this is available to you as soon as you join Executive Ahead of Time, that module is right there for you.
Now, if you're somebody who is not looking outside of your organization for other opportunities because you're very committed to your organization, that's fantastic and totally warranted. And mainly the work that I do is to show you how to get promoted internally.
But in this case, I want to also show you, because none of these women were looking externally. That's not what their intention was. They weren't looking for a job somewhere else. But once they started to find that powerful place within them and they really started to see themselves in that 3xed vision as a senior executive leader, really making the impact and having the influence at their organization that they really want to be having while still maintaining their energy along the way, they were like: 'Why not? Let's put myself out there.'
So with all three of these, they're positions that were higher than they expected. One of them was leading a larger team. One is being a CEO of a national organization. So really putting themselves out there. And then what happens?
As soon as they do that, the recruiter or whoever the first interview is with says: 'Yes. We want you to have a second interview, we want you to meet with the team.' Then all of this stuff comes up inside of you where you're like: 'Oh. Maybe I shouldn't have done this. Maybe I'm not ready for this. How do I interview? What am I supposed to do?'
This all the normal questions that we have in our brain when we do something really big and really powerful? And that is why it's so important to have a group coaching session the very next week with Stacy. And all three of these women pointed to, as part of their interview process, they ask themselves: 'What would Stacy do right? What would Stacey tell me to do? How would Stacey show up in this interview?' And then that helped them get through the interview process and then ultimately land the position of their dreams. Almost to a point where they can't even believe it themselves.
And when you do that, here's the beauty of it. When you interview as your most powerful version of yourself, not as somebody else, you're not faking these qualities, you're just basically able to show them and stand out as a senior executive leader, you're more likely to have success once you actually get into that role because you didn't have to fake it.
Everything an executive had a time is about bringing out the qualities that are already within you. We're not changing you. We're just allowing you to step into that place that is already in there, that already knows how to make suggestions at your organization. You just lack the actual communication tools to be able to do that.
And so I just want to congratulate everybody who has come through Executive Ahead of Time so far and really challenged themselves and and started to think bigger. Think bigger than they ever could have imagined. And again, challenge you. If you're listening to this and you're like: 'You know what? I think I'm ready. I don't really know what that means. I don't know if it's external or if it's going for something internal or if it's really just refining where I'm at in my current situation? If you feel like you want to make a bigger impact and have more influence – and have the energy to maintain it along the way – then I highly recommend signing up for our wait list so you'll be one of the first to know when the registration opens up this year.
Now let's get into today's episode. All of my episodes are based on what's actually happening with my coaching clients, what is actually happening with my students inside of Executive Ahead of Time. And then when I feel like; 'Oh, this situation needs to be addressed,' I bring it onto the podcast.
So the situation that needs to be addressed this week is that several of my clients are now in these higher level executive positions. They're both while one of them just got promoted this week to a senior vice president role and the other one is still operating at a vice president role, but she's sort of got promoted in terms of job responsibilities. So now we're just negotiating the title change.
So they're both at the senior vice president level. They just got promoted, and they have people gunning for their previous job. And so each of them has almost identical situations, where they have an employee who used to work for them, well they still work for them, that is saying: 'Hey, I want that job. I want to put my hat in the ring. I want to get promoted.'
Here's the problem.
Neither one of those people that are waving their hands in the air are qualified to take on those positions. And the only reason that they're not qualified, both of these people are exactly not qualified for the same reason. 100% their communication. They don't know how to communicate out a senior executive level. So my clients are looking at them and they're like: 'No way in heck would I promote them. We're going to hire somebody else.'
So you have two people that are raising their hand: 'Hey, I want your position. Hire me, give me your position.'
And then my clients are like: 'What do I even tell them? They are not qualified. I'm not going to promote them into my position.'
So basically, they just either tell them 'no' or they let them go through the motions of applying and then they get told 'no' at the end of the day. So that's what they feel like their choices are.
Well, the reason that I'm bringing this up into today's episode is because there's another insidious problem with the fact that these two people are raising their hand.
So now I want you to put yourself into the role of the senior vice president. We see this all the time. You see people at your organization do two things:
You see people who are not qualified, who have terrible communication skills, who are just like kind of crappy people, not even really that great at their job, raising their hand and saying: 'promote me. I want to be promoted. I deserve to be promoted. I've been here five years. I've been in the same role. Promote me, promote me, promote me.' And then they don't get the job. They get turned down. And then you also see, on the other side you see people raising their hand. Hello. Hello. Hello. 'Promote me, please. I deserve it. I've been in this job for five years. Promote me.' They're really terrible and they get promoted. So both of those things can happen.
I'm not saying that you can't get promoted. You can be a really shitty leader and get promoted all the way up to the C-Suite. You can be terrible.
But this is where the insidious problem comes in. When you, as a listener of my podcast, you listening to my podcast are not that person that's like; 'Hey, I'm really shitty, but promote me anyway.'
You are actually somebody who wants to truly, authentically make an impact at your organization. You actually care about the work that you do. Growth is one of your top values. You really want to lean in and make a bigger difference at your organization. So two things happen.
Now I'm going to go what's and what happens for you when you see this?
So when you see somebody raising their hand, and whether they get promoted or don't get promoted, that doesn't really matter to you. But you see a crappy person raising their hand and you're like: 'That is not what I'm going to do.'
So we talk a lot about how you need to advocate for yourself, speak up. You hear this all the time in women's leadership: 'You just need to speak up. You just need to ask for what you want.' And I even talk about that on my podcast. But in today's episode, I want to tell you what that actually means. I want to make sure that you don't think that asking for what you want looks like what those people are doing.
OK, so now let's go back. You are a talented, qualified professional. You deserve to be promoted. And let's say you're personally doing one of two things. You're not asking, which is very likely. Which is why you might receive the advice: 'You just need to speak up. You just need to ask for it.' Because other people can see it. They're like: 'Oh, my God, she's so qualified. She's so amazing. She would be a phenomenal senior vice president, but yet she's not asking for it.'
So in some ways, it really is your problem. You're just literally not asking. And you'll start to notice is you ask and then you get it. Like you actually get the job and you're like: 'Oh my goodness. It was that simple? Why didn't I do this a thousand years ago?' It's the same thing happens when people hire me as their coach. They're like, why didn't I do this a thousand years ago? It was that simple. That's all I needed to do.
So in some ways it is that simple. You just need to ask. If you are very qualified and you are an amazing executive, but you're just not speaking up, that is exactly what it does.
But I want to tell you what else it looks like. So both of these individuals that are raising their hand and they're being told 'no' have zero desire for growth. They just want the title. They don't want to grow. They don't want to listen to the feedback. They don't want to understand how they're not communicating effectively. And so whether this is 'they don't want to' or they're just too dense and they can't hear it, whatever that is, it doesn't even matter. The point is they're simply asking for the title, right?
They're going in and then they're probably stomping their feet and following up and having a follow up conversation. And why can't I get promoted? And I've been here for six years. And you guys don't care about me. So all of that stuff that you might be feeling inside.
So here's the things that I want you to actually do. When you advocate for yourself, when you actually ask for that promotion, is you're going to do it slightly different. You're just going to raise your hand. You're going to schedule that meeting. You're going to say: 'Hey, what would it take to become a senior vice president? What would it take to become a senior director? What would it take?' Which is different than: 'I want your title. I want to get promoted. I want you to know that I want to be promoted.' That's very different. Because the 'what would it take?' The difference in adding those words at the beginning of your sentence, is actually telling them that you're valuing growth.
Now, they may tell you 'no.' Now is not the time. You're not ready for it. And that's going to hit you in the stomach and it's going to feel really, really crappy. And you're going to take it and you're going to go home and you're going to sleep on it, and then you're going to come back the next week and you're going to be like: 'I heard what you said. I heard what you said, that I am not ready. And I want you to know that by next year I want to be ready. So let's create a plan.' You're showing them that you're available for growth, that you're willing to do something different.
Then here's the third part, you have to actually do what they say right now, there might be parts of you that are rolling your eyes and saying this is a bunch of crap and I totally disagree with this. But give it a shot. And even better if you have an outside perspective. So if you have a group like Executive Ahead of Time. Someplace where you can go and you could get support and you can say: 'Am I doing this right?' Am I just simply raising my hand and not open to growth? When they tell me what I'm supposed to do instead, what does that actually mean? What does speaking up actually mean? What does communicating differently actually mean? So that you get the tools and the actual understanding of what to do differently next time.
Right, so that's what you're going to start to do, is really understand that it's not just about raising your hand. It's not just about saying: I want a promotion, promote me. It's about saying 'I am ready for growth and I'm willing to listen and I want to expand.'
And again, you may just get the promotion because it's possible you've already grown, you're already amazing. And really all you had to do was ask. Or you might have to wait a little bit longer and you might have to grow and actually grow into it. And here's the beauty of it: If you're one of those people that have to wait a little bit longer, that's a blessing. Because, as long as you're actually growing during that time that you have to wait, you're going to be more successful once you get into that role.
Now, I'm going to tell you another scenario. So this is the scenario where you just keep your mouth shut because you know that you're not ready. I get so many people on my calls that say: 'I'm not ready for that level, so I'm just going to get ready and then I will raise my hand. Then I will say, hey, I want your job.'
No, that is not what you're going to do. You are going to raise your hand today. You are going to say: 'I want your job someday.' You are actually going to have that conversation that says I want to be your successor. What's it going to take to become your successor?
'This promotion that you just received reminded me of... It reminded me that I actually want your job, and I don't know if I'm ready yet or not, but I want to be ready.'
Two things are going to happen. They're going to say either you're ready or not, or they're going to... Well, it's not two things. They're either going to promote you or they're not going to promote you.
But here's the reason why just kind of being behind the scenes, getting yourself ready, and then asking is such a bad idea. Because we don't know that you're doing the right things. I mean, I sort of have an idea. I sort of know, right? I can guess. But unless the other person on the other side actually sees what you're doing and you're showing your work and you're showing how you're growing along the way, then when a year from now, that promotion opportunity comes up, you're basically starting at zero again.
You're like: 'Hey, I'm ready.'
And then they say: 'No.'
You're like: 'What? Wait. For the last year I've been growing. I took Stacy's program. I've worked on becoming the Executive Ahead of Time, don't you see?'
So part of the Executive Ahead of Time is actually speaking up from the beginning, so as we're growing, we're bringing our executive team along with us. So that they're on board, they're shifting their perception of you along the way so that a year from now or two years from now, when that position does open up for you, you're able to just slide right into it and, of course, have success once you get there, because you have been doing that role already.
So do you see where I'm going? So I want to recap here. When you see other people that are really, really crappy raising their hand and either getting promoted or not getting promoted and you're like: 'oh my God, I don't want to play that game. I don't want to be like them.'
Acknowledge, first and foremost, you are not like them. And the reason why is because you are going to raise your hand, you are going to speak up, and you're also going to show that you're ready to grow. So you will not be like them. You are not like them. You are like yourself, the corporate leader that really wants a voice at the table, that really wants to make a bigger impact at their organization, and is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that you are successful once you actually get the role. Because energy, because having the energy to do that job in a way that feels very fulfilling, in a way that feels exciting, in a way that feels inspiring, in a way that doesn't take away from your time with your family, but instead adds to it, adds more value to every aspect of your life, requires growth. It's something that requires planning and execution. I know you can do it. I know that you are somebody that is highly qualified and ready to be in that senior executive leadership position.
So if you are listening to this and you're like, dang, Stacy, I want to do this. I want to be that person that both raises their hand now and also shows that I'm ready for growth, then I invite you to join us in Executive Ahead of Time. Over the course of the six weeks, we are going to show you what that balance looks like.
Right off the bat, you're going to start having those professional development conversations, the ones that you've been putting off for a very long time, just simply because you didn't have the communication skills to be able to master them.
Right away, you're going to know what it means to step into your growth, to show other people that you're willing to grow, that you're not just raising your hand, that you're not just words. And you're going to know what it actually looks like to start to have success in a role like a senior vice president or a C-Suite level role.
So I encourage you to go to ExecutiveAheadofTime.com, sign up for the wait list. We'll be starting a new group mid-March. And I cannot wait to see you there and to see what you can accomplish in 2021.
Your time is now. You are ready for a senior executive leadership position and I am honored to help you get there.
Thank you so much for listening and have a great week.
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.