topSkip to main content

To get promoted, be replaceable

ladder to the sky image

Earlier his year, I had the pleasure of working with Robert Solomon, the Network of Executive Women’s Director of Talent Development, on a NEW Leadership Academy webinar. He said this: "Develop and empower others. If you cannot be replaced, you cannot be promoted.”

Our webinar focused on the The NEW Career Accelerator ModelTM, a powerful instrument that outlines eight career competencies and five potential derailers and serves as the foundation for NEW’s learning programs.

Here are two tips for accelerating your career: Here are two:

1. Make yourself replaceable. One of NEW Career Accelerator competencies is developing and empowering others. This is a critical career advancement skill because, as Solomon noted, if you're irreplaceable you're likely to stay right where you are.

"Your job can be expanded and you can take on additional responsibilities," Solomon notes, "but if you take up permanent residence in a position, you'll miss a lot of career growth opportunities."

So don’t aim to make yourself indispensable in your current role, or you might get stuck there. Solomon recommends taking the time to delegate work and encourage other individuals to take initiative.

2. Do the stuff your manager hates. Another of Solomon's favorite career-accelerating tips is to find out what job responsibilities your manager absolutely hates, but that are a critical part of his or her job. Develop proficiency in those things. Why bother? Simple.

By making your manager's job easier, you'll be learning new leadership skills and showing you have capabilities that go outside you current job description — and that you're promotable.

So there you have it, two simple tips to help you outgrow your current role — and lift up others as you climb.

Jo Miller, a women’s leadership speaker and founding editor of BeLeaderly.com, has hosted the NEW Leadership Academy webinar series since 2013.

Views expressed in blogs, posts and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and corporate partners.