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December 3, 2022

Put People In A Position Where They Can’t Say No To Your Promotion Without Looking Like A Clown (Part II)

If you have not seen part I, take a look before we continue. The truth is that there is nothing special about me. If you consistently and diligently apply the principles in this series, you have a very high chance of getting promoted. Some of this advice is about exactly what to do. Other advice is about principles that can help guide you through your own circumstances.

Do something for business development – As one of the commenters in my last article mentioned most of the time seniors do not even play a large role in proposals. That is true. But, it does not have to be true for you. In my first year, I gained the trust of a manager who took me to a dinner with a prospective client. I asked him to be a part of anything (emphasis is to denote begging and pleading) related to business development. I did not talk much, or contribute much, but I did it.

In my second year, I was on two client proposals and one for a Fortune 1000 client. This was a huge differentiating factor as there were some managers that were not even on one proposal that year. While not everyone will get this opportunity, sitting down with the important people (as I mentioned in part I) often leads to something great.

Daily mini and weekly comprehensive updates – Whether or not my Senior or Manager asked for updates, they got them. At the end of every day, I mentioned what had been accomplished, and where we stood for the next day (typically less than 2 minutes). If people do not hear about your work, it can go easily unnoticed. Do not annoy your supervisor. Use it as an opportunity to volunteer for more work, or a special opportunity:

“I finished updating the PBC, got through the revenue testing and PP&E. Tomorrow I’ll get started on the inventory cost testing and financial statements. Is there anything else I can help out with?”

At the end of each week, I prepared a comprehensive update of the status of the work papers and the team’s work in general. This was sent out with the budget vs. actual results of the engagement. Sometimes I asked permission to prepare these reports, other times, I just did it. I summarized the results in the email (format below) or had a comprehensive excel file with charts and percentage of the workpapers/tasks complete.

Key Accomplishments This Week
– Bullet point 1
– Bullet point 2
– Etc.

Outsourced Work Center:
– Bullet point 1
– Bullet point 2
– Etc.

Next week game plan:
– Bullet point 1
– Bullet point 2
– Etc.

Create A Summary Of Contributions – At most firms, senior managers have to prepare  a value proposition before getting admitted to the partnership of the firm. This same principle applies when you are trying to be promoted

While I no longer have that document (part of the firms documentation), I modeled it after an application I prepared for the Board of Directors of Beta Alpha Psi (get in touch for an edited copy). While this application was much longer, my summary of contributions was five pages with the following content:

Page 1 – Cover Page
Page 2 – Summary Of Annual Year
·      Paragraph summarizing my accomplishments
Page 3-5 – Detailed listing of accomplishments followed by a short paragraph describing each, with a picture beside them (i.e. if I led the recruiting efforts as a school, I would add the schools logo)

Just so you know, almost nobody reads these documents. But, if they are visually appealing and fun to flip through, the impact can be huge. It reminds me of the quote from Catch Me If You Can, "Do you know why the Yankees always win? The other team cannot stop looking at the pinstripes".

Stay tuned for our final round in part III.

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