Until recent times, you just needed to be good at your job to get promoted. Today that skill gets you on the radar but no further. Other elements such as; do we like you, will others follow you, what does it say about our business if we promote you, how much potential do you have and do you fit the future are playing critical roles in people getting big jobs. I have seen a lot of people being able to tick all those boxes but still not get the big job which they could easily do. 

The level of the job drives the time from the announcement and when you need to start “campaigning”. Senior and C-Suite roles are considered up to a two-year project to not only be considered but to the hit the ground running with support and having others believe that you are the one for the job.

Campaign areas you must get right include;

Alignment with Your Vision –  what do you see as the opportunities for the business, where would you take it, what are challenges and how would you overcome those. Potential peers as well as decision makers need to hear your thoughts and agree in case of an internal promotion. If they don’t agree with what you’re seeing and thinking they will look elsewhere. Shaping your vision in a thoughtful collaborative manner takes time.

Planning Your Successor – most often we are so focused on our next role, on our step up that we lose sight of that fact that someone needs to do your current role. Sure, we could look at this as someone else’s problem but someone aspiring for a higher role in the leadership ideally has a holistic eye on the development of others and ensuring the business gets the best person in each role.

Capturing All the Stakeholders – there’s likely to be a wide a diverse group with varying and complex needs. Approaching those with a flexible mindset ensuring that they feel that you understand them, have the right direction, worth following and demonstrating your support will be critical to gaining their support.

Consider the Skill Change – very senior roles are even less about “the task”. Ironically the further we get up the ladder the less “tasks” we do. The tasks are leading, inspiring, galvanise people. It will be important to calibrate your focus of “doing” from a perspective of the role not what your good at, your last role or what you feel comfortable with.

Critically important that you; start early, connect and subtly campaign to all stakeholders and be clear on your vision.

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