Are you aware? Research reveals that the training and development occurring by many companies rarely is designed to help you achieve your desired career—let alone set you up to move into the senior ranks.
Yes, organizations are stellar at developing tactical, definable knowledge relevant to your day-to-day development—it’s just not often applicable to gaining a heightened career future!
SHRM reports that 69 percent of human resource professionals believe they are not developing their employees to meet the organization’s future requirements.
Are they offering leadership training? Yes! However, their executives aren’t acquiring the less tangible and more critical expertise mandatory for successful senior leaders.
In all probability, this lack of corporate development accounts for the volume of external senior-level hiring companies are undertaking. This practice is not a winnable formula.
Harvard Business Review found that 40 to 60 percent of management new hires fail within 18 months.[i]
But I have to tell you the track record for a promoted internal candidate isn’t much better, with a 30 percent failure rate within two years after receiving an internal transfer.
Yet more evidence that you’ll want to instigate your Step-Up activities if you’re committed to achieving your full potential.
This cautionary tale doesn’t impact you if you’re not an executive aspiring for greater heights in the organization. Most corporate-designed training programs meet the essentials for the company today, and employees who are directly working on tangible, tactical, deadline-driven, check off your “to-do” list projects.
That’s because organizational development initiatives are more often lateral in nature. Experts pass along historical knowledge, information, and processes. Attention focuses on preparing your lateral skills, abilities, and behaviors to meet your company’s “right now” demands.
Most organizational development centers on your success at your current corporate level.
There’s no question that the rules change as you realize additional levels of accountability to the company’s bottom line, and you’re answerable to meet these challenges. Unfortunately, organizations don’t allot much grace or time to find your legs once promoted.
Step-Up learning is very different. First, you’re proactive, consistent, and assertively developing yourself. Second, it’s a Vertical focus, not a Lateral one. Yes…take advantage of the company’s offerings, and don’t stop there.
Recognize that if you aren’t proactively building career attitudes and skills to secure your future—way before you need to deliver the goods—your corporate status is typically locked into “producing, doing” roles, not the strategic, big-picture mindset of the “high-influential” executive you intend to be.
A Step-Up mindset is holding the developmental reins as you proactively.
to broaden your professional competencies:
- Request assignments that move you out of your comfort zone. Look for cross-training opportunities throughout the organization that will take you outside your current expertise. This tactic allows you to Step-Up to a new stage in your evolution because you’ve acquired a broadband view of the organization.
- Extend your network to include diverse positional responsibilities, generations, demographics, genders, and educational backgrounds. Whether working in a global organization or not, your company competes worldwide. Your competency in all dimensions of diversity is vital in the practice of a Step-Up mentality.
- Achieve confidence and ease with self-promotion—not of everything you do—only those activities that separate you from the pack as a Step-Up to your future. The more visible you, your talents, and your assets are, the more senior management will remember you and open doors for your development. When executed with humility and a conscious eye on the organization’s betterment, I promise you’ll remain in integrity with yourself and not come across as boastful to others. Instead, your achievements will shine as you rise in the organization.
- Connecting with and seeking sponsors and mentors across divisional and international boundaries is essential to your progression plan. Strategically partner with human resources, your boss, and other C-suite executives you’ve brought into your network. These network champions spread the word about your accomplishments—they’re your PR team! By becoming known to broader organizational levels, you create multiple promotion opportunities rather than one single track as you Step-Up to the next level.
- Heighten your job description by consciously asking for assignments that will be relevant to the next job you’re interested in achieving. There is more flexibility in your position than you ever credit, so take advantage of this by adding assignments that hone you for where you’re going to Step-Up, not merely doing more of what you’ve always been doing.
There is no question that today’s employees are perpetually experiencing white water challenges. Yes, there is comfort in growing skills for today. However, if you aren’t additionally building a Step-Up mindset, your career will be limited in scope, and your aspirational dreams may be unfulfilled. You can change this prophecy by taking the reins of your career in your hands and Stepping-Up to a more significant future!