We had a brief discussion with collegues a few days ago. The question that was asked was how do people in your organisation get promoted? Is it based on achievements or on connections?
Anyone keen on progressing their career needs to have an answer to this question. Have an honest analysis of the various people that have been promoted in your organisation. Was is because they were high achievers or because they were well connected? What is important to understand is that this differs from one organisation to the next.
Lets break this down and define achievements as well as connections.
Achievements are the objectives that you have met, the goals that you have delivered against, the victories that the company has enjoyed because of you. It is important that these achievements are easily attributed to you, either as the leader or ordinary employee, as an individual or as part of a team.
My definition of connections will be more broad. I would like to talk about the ‘godfather’. This person is not the same as a mentor. A mentor is someone who imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced person. A mentor does not necessarily have to work for the same company as you. A ‘godfather’ on the other hand, might not necessarily share any knowledge with you. They will do that sometimes because you work in the same organisation. This person is likely to be more senior in the organisation. He/she will mention your name to the right people and speak of your achievements on your behalf in order to help you get ahead.
Now that we have defined achievements and connections, we need to ask the question again, does your organisation promote based on your achievements or connections?
I encourage you to think seriously about this question if you would like to get ahead in your career. Can your achievements take you on the next step of your career, or you will need a ‘godfather’ to speak on your behalf? Whatever answer you come up with, work on having the best possible ammunition your need…but do not sell your soul to the devil.
I am keen to hear your feedback so please leave a comment and let us have a discussion