Karen Darrin

As a professional development coach, I have partnered with many professionals who wanted to advance their careers through promotion. Throughout the years of helping folks do just that, I have observed two very different kinds of promotions each one requiring a completely disparate development strategy.

Type 1 Promotion is usually to a “same knowledge area” (like engineering or finance) but broader/deeper responsibilities (for example, engineer to senior engineer).  Type 2 Promotion is a step into a role that will require an entirely new skill set (individual contributor to manager or a director to an executive). If you are aspiring for a Type 1 Promotion, your development plan should go into the same skills you have been demonstrating, but expanding and deepen your expertise.

When aspiring for a Type 2 Promotion, you will need to prepare to demonstrate leadership and management skills that your current role may not have required. Think of an individual contributor who is promoted to be the new manager of her team. Development should focus on many different competencies and the chance for that person stalling their career is very high. Type 2 Promotions can be a very difficult transition.

In fact, the most fragile jumps are the Type 2 Promotions. Those moves are ironic in that they are awarded to people who have outstanding performance in their previous roles, but the new role requires unfamiliar and expansive performance outcomes. It is a paradox and if a person is not prepared, they can find themselves blindsided. They can eventually derail their careers. For more, read Marshall Goldsmith’s What Got You Here Will Not Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful.”

When working with leaders preparing for a Type 2 Promotion, I discuss “career stallers” or “derailers” as defined by Korn Ferry. They study the behaviors that block one’s career from moving forward, or stalls it out completely. When you read the list, you will assuredly recognize some actions of leaders you have known. We all do.

Here are the 19 most prominent career stallers. You can read the entire Korn Ferry International report here.

1. Over-managing
2. Defensiveness
3. Over-dependence on a single skill
4. Non-strategic
5. Key skill deficiencies
6. Failure to staff effectively
7. Lack of composure
8. Failure to build a team
9. Overly ambitious
10. Insensitive to others
11. Arrogant
12. Unable to adapt to differences
13. Political missteps
14. Poor administrator
15. Over-dependence on an advocate
16. Blocked personal learner
17. Performance problems
18. Betrayal of trust
19. Lack of ethics and value

Interesting list. Where do you stand? Nearly half of these attributes reflect a lack of self-leadership whether working independently or in relationship with others. This is yet another reason why self-awareness is so critical for your career and your emotional intelligence. If you missed my series on self-awareness, click here.

CALL TO ACTION:  What do you need to get to the next step in your career?  Schedule a complimentary 30-min consult or email me at karen@karendarrin.com.