Check your promotability index

Are you ready for a promotion?

You may feel that you are. Your technical work yields solid results. Your subordinates, if you have them, are a strong team. Your projects with other departments have developed your knowledge of the company.

Your boss supports you and is ready to go to his or her manager and recommend that you be promoted to a position with more responsibility and more pay.

In the book, "A to Z for the Get Ahead Manager," author Carl Heyel notes several important factors for you and your boss to consider before throwing your hat in the ring.

Suppose those responsible for making the choice among candidates are asking your manager questions about your performance and readiness. If you were a fly on the wall, Heyel suggests those questions might sound something like this:

·        Would you say this person is ready to express his or her opinions in staff meetings? Having done so, can he or she be counted on to fall in line if some policy or procedure is adopted contrary to his or her point of view?

·        Can you ever recall an instance when this person was not silent about something told to him or her in confidence?

·        Does this person show evidence of being cost-conscious?

·        Can you recall an instance, perhaps during the past year, when he or she was responsible for a serious mistake in judgment or for any serious incorrect action?

·        Conversely, were there outstanding instances of this person using his head in an emergency or unusual situation?

·        Have you had any direct evidence of any difficulty this person has had in getting along with his subordinates, peers or anyone in an administrative or staff position?

·        Does he or she get projects done on time?

·        From your own personal experience with this person, would you say he or she is ready to admit responsibility for mistakes?

·        Can you recall an instance when this person did not properly transmit instructions or a policy to subordinates?

·        Can you point to examples of this person's innovation and creativity in suggesting new ideas or novel approaches to existing problems?

Here are a few more to add to Heyel's list:

·        Can you give an example to show he or she knows how to let go of a project after delegating it?

·        Has this person ever taken full credit for a project that was completed, in part, by someone else?

·        Does he or she confront poor performance or poor work habits immediately after a pattern begins to emerge?

·        Have you ever seen evidence that this person gets so involved in details that he can't see the forest for the trees?

·        Point to specific instances when he or she used consensus decision-making, as well as times when an immediate decision was made alone?

·        What has this person done in the past year to coach and develop his or her subordinates?

·        Are you aware of any complaints by this person's subordinates of instances when this person did not seem to actively listen to or care about his subordinates?

·        Is this person someone who will professionally represent the company to outsiders?

·        If you were to go to the outside, would he or she be the type of person you'd hire? What other characteristics would you look for?

If your boss can answer these questions with specific, positive responses, you deserve the job! 

Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 573-1616,, or 
About Joan Lloyd
Joan Lloyd & Associates provide
FREE subscription to receive Joan's article by email

Email Joan to submit your question for consideration for publication, request permission to reprint an article for distribution, or for information about carrying Joan Lloyd's weekly column in your publication, or on your Internet or Intranet site. Visit to search an archive of more than 1700 of Joan's articles.
© Joan Lloyd & Associates, Inc.