On Being Promoted

Recently two clients in different organizations have been promoted. Both new titles sound appropriately impressive reflecting a rise in seniority from the recent past roles, but in both cases, disillusionment has followed.

At very senior levels, promotion is about more than increased rewards. Perhaps the greatest value and satisfaction come from the compelling mixture of increasing responsibility, a widening sphere of influence and an increase in discretion – the right to innovate and develop without first seeking permission.

An increase in status is defined not just by title, but about the value of the perceived impact which the new role confers. Is it possible to ensure that the necessary conditions for this are in place before taking up the new role or do they only become evident afterwards? Promotion can be a bit of a disappointment if most of these expectations are not met.