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Stuck as Sr. Manager? You're Making These 3 Mistakes

Imagine this...

You've been crushing it in your role as a Sr. Manager or Director for about 2 years.

All of your performance reviews look the same: "You're doing great! Keep it up."

You feel accomplished and confident.

When the promo cycle comes around, you walk with your head high, like you've already won the lottery. You worked HARD for the promotion, and the feedback was good, so that must mean it's a slam dunk.

And then life throws you a curveball. The feedback is still positive. You're doing so well. But... no promotion is in sight. Nada. Zilch. Frustration kicks in. You can't help but wonder: What is wrong with me? Your confidence takes a hit, and instead of rising to the challenge, you let doubt mess with your head. The result? You dig a deeper hole and stay stuck. The 3 Mistakes That Are Keeping You Stuck If you have been a Sr. Manager or Director for 2+ years and can’t break through to the next level... Then you are probably making one or more of these 3 mistakes: 1) You didn’t qualify yourself for the next level. ️ Since no one told you otherwise, you assume doing your current job well will automatically move you to the next level. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Doing more of the same is proof you can do YOUR job. It's not an indication that you can operate at the next level. When a company decides to promote you, they take a chance. They can hire someone who has ALL the experience they are looking for, or they can bet that you'll rise to the challenge and figure things out as you go. The latter is a risky option for them. They have no guarantee you'll do well... unless you give them proof. If you want to be the obvious and immediate choice for a senior promotion, you have to PROVE you can operate at the next level before you get there. For example: Get yourself on impactful projects alongside senior leaders, come up with a strategic initiative, or take something off of your manager's plate. Start qualifying yourself for the next level, and make it an easy choice to promote you. 2) You didn’t build an advocacy team. No one gets to the executive level alone. The competition is fierce, and you need all the help you can get. The reality is this: People promote people, and you need the right people on your side. It may sound harsh, but it's true. Just think about it. In a world where there are two equally qualified candidates who would your manager choose? The lone candidate no one knows, or the candidate whose name comes up over and over again as the best choice? Your manager wants a guarantee. They will choose the candidate who is being championed by their trusted colleagues. Just like you would choose the product that has thousands of 5-star reviews on Amazon, vs. the one that has none. No advocacy team = no promotion. 3) You never asked for the promotion. One of the business quotes I live by is: Do not assume, validate. It is important in business and in your career. Executive promotions are few and far between. You can't assume you'll be nominated. You have to put your hat in the ring and make damn sure you are in the race. If you don’t, someone else will take your place. Raising your hand and nominating yourself is not arrogant. It's a vote of confidence in yourself. If you can't show up for yourself, how will you show up for others as a leader? You won't believe how many people stay stuck just because they never raise their hands. One of my clients was absolutely crushing their goals. He waited for more than 2 years for a promotion that never came. Frustration drove him to start interviewing with other companies. Before making a big move, we decided to try one thing: ask for a promotion. He put together a strong business case and made the ask. Six weeks later, he was promoted, got a nice bump in salary, and a few direct reports. He had everything he needed to level up, he just had to ask... STOP Doing The Wrong Things Leveling up to executive roles is the hardest transition to make. You have to change how you think and how you act. And no one tells you what the new rules are!! I’ve seen people get stuck for 5, and even 7 years because they keep making the same mistakes. But if you are doing the same thing over and over again and getting nowhere… Something needs to change. I believe in you and I’m rooting for you. Maya ❤️


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