3 steps for increasing your chances for tempting career advancement by 300%
A few statistics about promises to ourselves:
Only 28% of our promises will actually be kept.
12% of our promises will be changed (to make things easier).
A whopping 60% of promises won’t make it until this time next year.
What this means is that less than a third of our tempting career advancement promises will survive!
And the reason? Our habits. These are the number one factors affecting career development in mid-level managers.
So let’s see how we can take our habits by the horns and triple our chances of keeping true to our promises.
Every new week, month, year, etc. can fill us with heightened optimism, renewed energy, and certainty that we’ll finally get the promotion we deserve. We come up with ambitious plans to impress our bosses, and we resolve to bring in results unlike anytime before. But, as the numbers above tell us, something veers us off track along the way.
It’s our habits.
Promises to ourselves are always more difficult to keep than we think. And when the going gets tough, our habits kick in to shield us from these difficulties. For example, let’s say you promise yourself to go running every morning. But one morning, you wake up and it’s really cold outside. You can bet that your old habit of sleeping in will creep up and hijack that promise...and you’ll find yourself hitting the snooze button instead of getting out of bed. But it’s not unusual. In fact, you might be surprised that on average, our habits control about 40% of what we do during the day. Yes, nearly half of what we do all day long is more or less done on autopilot!
So how can we keep this autopilot from interfering with our promises?
The antidote is determination. Developing and nurturing your determination to stick to your decisions is the one thing that will keep you honest with your promises. To increase your chances threefold, here are 3 steps to follow:
Step 1: “Failure is not an option.” (my favorite quotation from NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz)
When you don’t allow for the possibility of failure (especially a Plan B), your goal has to succeed. Let’s say that your goal is to achieve a promotion. You’d want to beware of the following Plan Bs:
If I don’t get a promotion, I’ll find another well-paying job.
If they don’t promote me, I’ll change companies.
If the promotion doesn’t come through, I’ll take some professional development courses.
These Plan Bs, while admirable in general, are not and should not be considered part of achieving your goal. In fact, Plan Bs actually work to weaken your determination. Remember that developing and nurturing determination means keeping your eye on one ball only.
Step 2: There are no free lunches.
One thing that a truly determined person knows is that to achieve a goal, you’ll always have to give up something. So not only are there no free lunches, but also, unfortunately, you CAN’T have your cake and eat it, too. Whether it’s exchanging a longer lunch break for a shorter one or an early departure from work on Friday for a late one, developing and nurturing determination means making conscious choices in order to successfully achieve your goals.
Step 3: I visualize; therefore I can.
It might seem a little far-fetched to suggest that visualization is integral to determination. But consider this: if you were to talk to folks you considered as “determined,” you’d quickly discover how clearly they visualize themselves achieving their goals. So begin visualizing: your new office, how you’ll look the first day of your new job, your first staff meeting… The more you visualize, the stronger the imprint of success you’ll make on your brain - a key to developing and nurturing your determination.
So start increasing your chances of promotion by 300% - today.
And always remember:
Great managers are made. Not born.
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