Promotions: Successful Past or Opportunistic Future

January 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

We all love to be promoted, verbally by friends, graphically in print, or professionally by a superior.  Promotions typically occur as a result of great past performance.  But is that the only reason?

I was recently invited to a regularly scheduled Black Belt class in the martial arts style I study called Sanchin-Ryu.  This invitation is NOT given regularly to non-black belts so I wanted to seize the opportunity.  At the end of our two-hour workout, I was called up to the front and presented with my promotion form to Black Belt.  You can imagine my elation.  But that is not the only emotion I was experiencing.

In any example of promotion, the emotions that most people experience are excitement, elation and pride to name a few.  These emotions are a result of the success from the past and are important.

It is normal to celebrate past accomplishments.  There are 5 reasons why you should focus more on the future.

  1. Continue Growing & Learning:  Promotion does not signify it is time to stop learning and improving.  It does not signal the end of the line.  In fact, the opposite is more accurate.  Promotions to great people motivate those people.  They want to do more.  They want to learn more.  They want grow more.  If someone stalls after their promotion, the promotion likely happened to the wrong person.
  2. New Future Opportunities:  After a promotion, interaction will likely be with different people in different ways.  This provides new opportunities that were not available before the promotion.  This is a priceless opportunity to help with #1.
  3. Others Are Looking Up To You:  If it hasn’t happened before, being promoted will make an impact on the journey of others that want to emulate your assent and learn from your wisdom.
  4. Leadership Opportunities:  Regardless if the promotion was to a management position or not, people want to learn from other successful people.  You are likely leading someone whether you realize it or not.
  5. New Perspective:  You are a new person entering into what is usually an existing position.  This “newness” provides you with a unique perspective you wont have forever.  Offer ideas for changes.  Ask questions about why something doesn’t make sense.  Offer praise for things that seem to be going really well.  You will never have this perspective again.

Spend time celebrating a promotion.  Be proud of the past and then quickly start focusing on the future.  What are some of the things you have reflected on after being promoted?  Leave a comment.  I would love to hear more perspectives.


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