I am the best at what I do. I am highly reliable & take ownership of execution and operations. People can entrust responsibility on me and forget about it. I deliver. I have got numerous accolades for the same. My leadership and team absolutely adore me. It was all good until I did not get promoted to the next level. That's when I realised that I cannot grow because I don't have a replacement and I am not ready for next role. How can I be good in my current role and yet be considered into higher strategic roles? ~ Senior Manager, Product firm
There are two considerations that helps in accelerating career progression:
While most leaders keep current performance in their radar, they miss future potential. They realise it when their promotion does not come through and they don't understand what did they do wrong.
It's also easy to measure performance against goals rather than measure potential. So the ambiguity and uncertainty of working towards potential makes them settle for the 'known performance'.
How does one get a handle on both performance and potential?
Know that what got you here will not get you there:
There is always a gap between your current role and the next. The skills and competencies for the next could be very different from your current role.
Know what competencies you need to bridge to be considered for next role. Have the conversation much before you think you are due to get promoted.
Since skills and competencies are different, so are the Measures of Success. Know the skills and measure of success. More on this subject can be found in Marshall Goldsmith's book.
Sometimes the fear of loss of control makes leaders not to delegate effectively. Some of them also feel a sense of anxiety that they will be replaced if they transfer know-how to their directs.
Irrespective of the fear and anxiety, your team will grow with you. Unless you grow you will become a bottleneck for their growth.
So be open to grow with your team.
3. Put yourself up for new kind of work
I have seen many leaders re-do the work done by their directs because its not up to their standard. If you have to do other's work, borrow from your boss or one level up. Volunteer to learn a new piece of work laterally and increase your skills.
Broaden your horizon. This will help increase the number of roles available for you to move up.
When decision makers debate the incumbent for the next role, you should be in the top of their mind.
Build your own authentic visibility. Be a thought leader in the area of your interest. Speak up/ write / show up in ways that doesn't make it hard on the decision makers to choose you.
Build your allies - who would support your candidature.
Build an eco-system that is a cheer leader for your growth.
Build your network of like-minded individuals that help you learn.
What works for you to balance current performance Vs future potential?