How do people get the best projects? How do they get the opportunities and promotions? How can you be a “high potential employee?” Many organizations identify people who have the potential, ability, and aspiration for successive leadership positions within the organization. Often, these people are given opportunities that focus their development as part of a succession plan.
Here’s what organizations look for:
- How do you handle unexpected changes?
- How do you deal with hurdles? Are you derailed or motivated to find an alternate solution?
- Do you take charge rather than sitting back and waiting for someone else to lead?
- Do others willingly accept your direction and decisions?
- Do you listen to and assist others?
- Do you consistently go above and beyond in your results?
- Do you understand your organization’s ‘business’ and your your division’s role to support its mission?
- Are you paying attention to the trends that impact your organization and your profession within it?
If you have all of this, you still may not reach your goals alone. Find an advocate who can help you identify areas for improvement and growth. They can advise you on how to attain the training required to close any gaps, and help to open doors for new opportunities. Look for someone in a leadership role that embody the qualities you aspire to have. Watch and listen (don’t stalk) to how they handle themselves in a variety of situations. Let them know your goals and types of opportunities you’d like to tackle.
All of this comes down to not waiting to get noticed. You have to connect the dots and speak up for yourself in appropriate settings.