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How To Make An Unbreakable Case For Your Promotion

Hiring for executive roles is different from hiring for junior and individual contributor roles.

You are not promoted based on what you've done, you are promoted based on what you can do in the future.

That's why you ask for the promotion and get feedback like "you're not ready". Because while you are crushing current goals, you haven't convinced your leaders of your future potential.

At this level hiring managers don't look for the BEST practitioner.

They look for people who can grow the business.

The question is, how do you demonstrate this skill to justify a promotion?

You stop relying on your past (I worked hard, I achieved my goals, I've been here long enough), and instead create a compelling future.

This is how you sell your "potential" when your experience doesn't check all the boxes.

Your past may not get you promoted, but your future will.

That is what I want to show you today.

How to make a case for your future potential, to get that executive promotion.

The ARC Model for Executive Promotions

If you want to break into executive roles you have to start thinking like an executive by putting yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes.

Hiring for executive roles is different from hiring people for junior and individual contributor roles.

Executive hires are much more costly! Hiring the wrong leader could cost a company north of $1M.Because it is a risky decision they want to minimize the risk by hiring someone with experience.

Does that mean you’ll never get the job? Nope. It just mean you need to make a case that takes away their concerns.

Your goal is to reduce their perceived risk and make them feel confident you can rise to the occasion. Essentially, you need to think about your promotion like a business proposal and make it compelling enough for them to say yes.

There are 3 main questions your manager is asking themselves:

1. Are you the A-Player they want on their team long term?

You’ll become a more impactful part of their team, so they need to make sure they can rely on you blindly. To assess the answer they will look back on your achievements: Did you exceed expectations and crush your goals? They’ll also look at their relationship with you. Are you independent or require a lot of hand-holding? Can they trust you as a second in command?

2. Do they believe you could do next-level work?

Hiring you will be a leap of faith. Are they convinced that you can step up and figure it out on the go? This is an educated guess at best unless you SHOW them that you are already capable of doing that.

3. Will promoting you be a good business decision?

As an executive, your manager is on the line for real business results. They won’t promote you unless they are sure that you will increase their impact and, more importantly, that you won't slow them down.

They need to be sure they are hiring a force multiplier, not an anchor.

Now, this is the fun part. If you know what your manager thinks and what concerns they have, you can build a success model that addresses all of these objections.

This magical success model is called ARC. Achievements, Readiness, and Company Benefit.

Here’s how you can put it into action:


When it comes to your past work you need to deliver two types of reassurance.

First, you need to exceed expectations. 68% of people just do the bare minimum to keep their job and only 2% exceed expectations. If you want to be seen as a top performer, you need to be part of that 2%. Coasting won’t cut it.

Second, you’ll need to demonstrate you can do next-level work to build trust in your ability to take on more responsibility.


Get really good at prioritizing and saying no to work that doesn’t move the needle.

Use the Eisenhower matrix to decide what work should be delegated, eliminated, or automated. You’ll know what work to focus on to make an impact and make time to do more senior work without burning out.

This part is crucial. Without demonstrating your achievements, you won’t have a chance to make a case for your promotion.

Tip: Track your achievements weekly or monthly to have demonstrable proof of past success.


This is usually the hardest part because you need to convince your manager of something you’ve never done before. This isn't about your ability to grow your workload, it’s about demonstrating you can become a different person.

The problem is that your manager doesn’t read minds… so how do you convince them you have developed these soft skills? The answer is to start acting like an executive.

Executives don’t ask for a promotion because they’ve been with the company for long enough to deserve it.

Instead, they make a business case to show why promoting them is a good decision for the company.

(This shows strategic thinking)

Executives don’t think from an individual's perspective.

Instead, they make decisions that benefit the company, even if it’s uncomfortable.

(This shows decision making)

Executives don’t blame circumstances.

Instead, they build high-performing teams that crush expectations

(This shows motivating and mobilizing people)

How can you show these skills?

Before you get the title, you’ll need to start thinking and acting like an executive.

You’ll need to develop these executive skills to show you are ready for the next level. Unfortunately, most companies don’t have “executive presence” training, but you can start with my 3-step guide to boost your executive presence.

The bottom line is that action speaks louder than words.

Your manager has to “feel” you are ready, which means you need to become executive-ready first to send the right signals.

Company Benefit

Executives know their promotion is not about them. It’s a business decision.

If you can demonstrate promoting you will benefit the company, it will be an easy yes.

Anyone can say they’ll add value, but the people who become executives figure out how to demonstrate it.

You do it by painting a compelling picture of the future. What life would look like when you get the promotion. Instead of asking the executive team to trust that you can figure it out, you figure it out and show them.

Here’s the logic behind it.

It is hard to get promoted based on your past. It requires a big leap of faith from the hiring manager. It’s easier to get promoted based on your future because you actually SHOW them what will happen.

You remove the doubt and fear and give them something desirable to look for.


Imagine you’ve got the promotion. It is now your mandate to make big decisions about your part of the business.

What is your plan for the next 90 days? For the next year? What changes will you make? How will you increase impact and make the business more successful?

Answer these questions before you get the promotion and turn them into your business case. This will demonstrate your executive-level perspective, business acumen in revenue-driving decisions, and foresight in choosing the right direction.

(I teach how to do this inside of Success Builders)

Your next steps

Now that you know it's not your past, but your future that will get you promoted, start building your case.

Use the ARC model to develop and demonstrate executive skills before you get the promotion, making it easy for the company to bet on you.

I believe in you, and I’m rooting for you.

Maya ❤️


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