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The Champion Forum Podcast

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Thank you for listening to the Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! In this episode of Hanch’s How-To’s we’re talking about some of the toughest questions leaders are asking themselves. Why am I getting passed over for promotion? Why isn’t my team listening to me? And what should I be doing to prepare my organization for long-term success? You’ll hear from the real-life situations my coaching clients are facing and the leadership advice that helped them move forward in the right direction.

1. The Missing Key to Promotion

The problem: I once received a call from a leader who was perplexed because they did not get a certain promotion. They believed their results should have been enough. As we talked more, I asked him how many people from his team had been promoted. He replied that this was not a highlight for him.

Leader, if you want to get promoted and become a leader of leaders, you need to show that you can develop your team. Managers can teach what they know, but real leaders will reproduce who they are.

Leaders who want to be promoted should be doing these three things:

  • Convincing people that they can succeed.

  • Teaching people the methods they need to get consistent results.

  • Coaching your team into promotions.

2. Clear is Better than Brilliant

The Problem: I was talking to a new leader who felt like their new role was a lot of “hand-holding.” Nobody seemed to be listening, and the leader was constantly repeating themself. One of the most crucial skills for a leader is communication. Some people will interpret what you say in their own way, but your role as a leader is to always make sure you communicate clearly. You can do this by simply asking them to repeat back to you what they believe you are telling them. Also, don’t be afraid to ask pointed questions about your team’s progress. The more you probe, the more you know if you are getting what you asked for.

3. Ask People to do Hard Things.

The Problem: I was recently in a succession planning strategy meeting with a team of executive leaders. I quickly realized that they did not have enough promotable people to allow for the growth they desired for their company.

The Solution: Companies that do not have promotable people are usually not allowing them to become battle-tested. People are usually capable of a lot more than they think. Often, they just need to be asked to step up! Don’t just hand out tasks at random. Make sure your assignments are tailored to each person on your team in a way that will help them focus and realize more of their potential. Even if there are setbacks, you will create the opportunity for you to coach them through their inevitable setbacks and learn from them. You’ll also be able to see their potential much more clearly and recognize who is ready for greater responsibility.

Application Activities:

1. Identify someone who you can coach into a promotion. Don’t worry if the position isn’t immediately available. Focus on what you can do to help your employee capitalize on their strengths and develop their weaknesses so that when the opportunity comes, they’re ready! Write their name down in your planner and schedule time to talk with them about some of their goals, strengths, and weaknesses. As you talk, affirm your commitment to helping them move into the position they want!

If you’re not a leader yet, you can still do this activity by working with a student, friend, or mentee to achieve the same results.

2. Have you struggled to get the results you want from your team? Get curious! Start every meeting with 5 pennies in your left pocket and remove a penny every time you ask a question. Challenge yourself to get through all the pennies every time you have a meeting, even if it’s only for a few minutes. If you can’t discreetly move the pennies, you could also slowly move your pen from the left side of the desk to the right as you ask questions. To get the most out of this activity, ask open-ended questions that challenge your team to give you detailed responses.

3. Take a risk! Identify someone you think could take on more responsibility and find a task that will challenge them. The best assignment will be one that both challenges and interests your team member. Keep track of their progress, but try not to step in and micromanage if they start to fail.


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