Your New Promotion: What Do We Do Now?

5 Ways to Act the Part

I was recently asked by a client to facilitate a session for newly promoted VPs at a large bank.  Gone are the days when merely serving your time earned a promotion.  In today’s market, promotions are far and few between, so for these men and women moving from Associate to VP was a big step.

My challenge for the newly promoted is, “So what happens once you get the promotion? What will senior management notice that’s different about you?”

The most important thing to remember is that it’s not business as usual. You’ve been rewarded for your good work and expertise, but this is more than a raise. The game has changed, you’re expected to be a different type of player, and even the score is kept differently.

Before your promotion you may have been expected to gather information for your manager so she could make an informed decision. Now you have to make that informed decision. Your colleagues—peers, subordinates and managers—will all look to you for your perceptive insights, astute analysis, and informed opinions.

So what’s different?

5 ways to start off your promotion with an incredible bang!

Add value. The more senior you become, your value is less about the information you have and more about your opinions and insights. That’s why they pay you the big bucks!

Find your voice. Speak with confidence. Make it clear that you’re willing to listen to the opinions of others, but take the approach that your open-mindedness is what makes you a strong leader. When addressing your clients and colleagues, be succinct and to the point—don’t assume that you can ramble because you have a captive audience.

Own the room. When you’re in a meeting, go back to basics: make eye contact with everyone in the audience. Project your voice and make sure it fills the room.

Humility can go a long way. You won’t always have all the answers, but don’t come across as tentative. Admit when you’re wrong or don’t know; tap dancing is no longer acceptable in your new role. However, you need to show that you’re in control of the situation and know how to find the answers. It’s a good idea to look at your network and see who you can tap into when you need help.

If you’re not there yet, model someone who is. Look within your organization or at another company and model the characteristics and attitude of someone in your role who you admire and who has earned the respect and trust of senior management and colleagues.

“Don Draper: It’s your job. You give me ideas.

Peggy Olson: But you never thank me.

Don Draper: That’s what the money is for!”

Mad Men

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