Three Action Steps to Overcome the Difficulties of an Internal Promotion

Did you know that 75% of employees leave their job because of their manager? Promoting within is a great way to build morale, sustain culture, and give your employees a sense of belonging and hope. It is imperative that the promotion is a wise decision and that the newfound leader is amply prepared; otherwise, you could lose valuable employees.


Unfortunately, promoting from within can come with difficulties as well. Oftentimes, the promoted individual doesn’t have leadership training, they’re leaving their group of peers who now feel like they’ve “gone to the dark side.” These new leaders have to develop relationships with their new peers and new team. On top of that, they’re learning a different role and often feel lonely but don’t want to appear incompetent. In some cases, they are the boss of the people who were their peers the day before.


When I was promoted from teacher to Dean of Students I felt like I was in an in-between state. Not quite an admin, but no longer a teacher. No one prepared me for this reality. I wish my leadership training would have prepared me for the changing dynamics with my peers and the administrative staff, it would have saved a lot of heartaches. I could see the teacher relationships slip away and never felt like an admin equal; it was a lonely job. I relied heavily on my Co-Dean, the School Resource Officer, and the Security Guards as my new team. I worked hard to build my credibility through my integrity and communication skills. Thankfully, having a strong relational foundation with my colleagues gave me a boost when difficulties arose.


Building trust is one of the most important things a leader can do to show competency. Building trust does not happen overnight. Follow the action steps below to set your new leaders up for success.

Three Action Steps to Successfully Promote From Within

  1. Time – Make sure that your newly promoted leaders understand that it takes time to find their leadership flow, build trusting relationships, and change the culture. Leaders need to take time to listen, interview, understand, and be thoughtful about decisions. Make sure they understand that patience is key and leadership gets easier with time.
  2. Integrity – Remind the newly promoted that a leader’s actions determine a leader’s success. If a leader speaks ill of others, no one will trust them. If they say they’re going to do something and they don’t, no one will follow them. If they change things too fast, people will jump ship. If they only focus on the negative, people will work in fear.
  3. Rely on your network – Set your leaders up for success by hiring a trusted advisor and sharing your leadership network with them. Remind them that it’s ok to ask for help. Having a trusted advisor and peer network helps immensely when leaders find themselves in need of consultation. Finding peers that they can laugh with, problem-solve with, and find success with is imperative to combat loneliness.

Are you asking yourself, “How do I do this?” I can help!


The Trusted Advisor Program is my most intensive 1-on-1 program. Within 90 days you’ll gain habits that create breakthrough success. You get personalized coaching and support, relentless accountability, and commonsense action steps that get results.


Join our central Wisconsin in-person or online Impactful Leadership Lunch. Find like-minded leaders and join this monthly mastermind lunch group.


Looking for a Keynote Speaker at your next event? I use my past experiences and knowledge to bring people together and inspire individuals to do their best.


laura.colbert@strategicleadersacademy.com


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