The 5 Career Management Mistakes that will KILL Your Promotion

A shocking 70% of managers worldwide never reach their full potential. While there are endless reasons for such factors affecting career development, most managers seem to make 5 common mistakes. Here are the top 5 mistakes made by managers who fail to advance in their career. Commit these and ensure that you’ll fail, too.

1. Keep doing nothing.

One of the most damaging factors affecting career development is doing nothing. First of all, it’s easier to sit back and let things take their course. But you might actually think that by doing nothing, you are doing the right thing. For example, you might think you’re demonstrating trust in the “natural” promotion process in your organization – or showing respect to your managers, who obviously know better.

Remedy: remove the wool from your eyes and start getting into active mode.

2. Drown in honey.

I’ve been using this colorful expression for decades to describe the situation in which managers find themselves paralyzed by the compliments they receive from their bosses. The sticky, sweet, gold stuff is poured on you so often in the form of positive feedback that you begin to lose sight of what really good performance is – so much that you inevitably “lose your edge” and are objectively no longer suitable for promotion.

Remedy: remember that compliments are good, but don’t let them go to your head.

              Results are what matter.

3. Be like everyone else.

There’s an old Japanese saying: “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.” Your organization might value this proverb, especially in the age of company credos, corporate values, cross-functional teamwork, and standardization. However, if you hammer yourself down by downplaying what makes you unique, there won’t be any reason for you to be promoted over others.

Remedy: be a team player, but don’t miss opportunities to show what you’ve got.

4. Wing internal interviews.

You’ve been eyeing an open position in your organization and are sure that you’re the perfect candidate. You even know the decisionmakers well and are fairly certain that they are familiar with your qualifications. You certainly have the job in the bag, at least compared to any outside candidates. They’re brought in just for formality, right? Wrong. Your company is really looking for the best candidate possible, which, surprise, may not be you. Not if you don’t prepare. As strange as it seems, internal interviewing can be more grueling than interviewing for positions outside of your organization, especially because so much is already known about you. Failing to prepare yourself for an internal interview will surely lead to disappointment.

Remedy: keep in mind that being promoted isn’t a given; competition can be tougher than applying for a position in another organization.

5. Avoid the mirror.

When you fail to look into the mirror, you never see yourself. More importantly, you don’t see how others perceive you. A good look into the mirror will always reveal your strengths and weaknesses as seen by others. A good look into the mirror will help you understand the differences between how you want to be seen and how you are really seen – thus highlighting the things that need to be changed. Keeping yourself away from the mirror is a surefire way to remain stagnant in your career.

Remedy: acknowledge that when it comes to promotion, it doesn’t matter how you see yourself – only how others see you.

And always remember:

Great managers are made. Not born.

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