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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Choose Gratitude AND Forgiveness

During this time of thanksgiving, think about practicing gratitude and forgiveness. Perhaps you have a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to for a while or you’re holding a grudge against someone you once loved. Now is the time to forgive.

Holding onto resentment, grudges, and anger is not only bad for your mental health, but it’s also bad for your physical health. It can cause stress, high blood pressure, and anxiety, to name a few. It’s time to break through the oppressive chains and forgive others and yourself, if necessary. Life is entirely too short and precious to harbor animosity towards other individuals and to hold onto guilt. I guarantee you, no one on their deathbed said, “I wish I was ticked off at more people,” or, “I wish I felt guiltier about my decisions in life.”

As a leader, are you practicing forgiveness with your employees? Are you forgiving yourself when plans don’t work out? Do you gravitate towards empathy and understanding or are you jumping to negative assumptions?

Remember, your employees need to feel valued, safe, and vulnerable enough to make mistakes without immediate negative repercussions. This will give them a better sense of belonging and buy-in.

Action Steps to forgiveness and freeing yourself from the chains of resentment:

  • Choose to move on. Yes, it’s a choice. It doesn’t mean that the situation doesn’t hurt, but letting it affect your mental and physical health long-term isn’t worth it.
  • Attempt to understand where the other person came from. Have a conversation. Practice an open heart, empathy, and eye contact. Put everything else aside and give them the benefit of the doubt.
  • Remember that we are imperfect humans. Every great leader in history made mistakes in some capacity. No one is perfect. Look for the good in others and let everything else go. You can’t control another human being.
  • Let go of your own self-guilt. Find a way to forgive yourself and make the most out of your decisions.

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
Get this newsletter delivered to your inbox. Click Here.

What Does Authenticity Really Mean?

Think about one of your most amusing, real, and charismatic friends. I conjure up Sarah with her red curly hair, her robust laugher, her ability to find joy and wit in every interaction, and her unflappable ability to be her true self regardless of audience and pressure. I used to envy her ability to step outside of the quintessential stereotype and into the world of uniqueness. Is this authenticity in its purest form? I used to think so until I recently read “The Modern Trusted Advisor” by Alan Weiss and Dr. Nancy MacKay. Their definition stopped me in my tracks. They describe authenticity as “Owning our own feelings and being accountable, understanding the impact of our actions on others, and being honest about what we need versus what we want.” Merriam-Webster describes authentic as “real or genuine,” and “true and accurate.” It’s as though Weiss and MacKay took the bones of Merriam-Webster’s definition and put some meat on it. 

Our instincts draw us towards authentic individuals. It’s as though we have this gravitational pull toward their realness. The spurious individuals put up immediate red flags with their “commission breath” and “sleazy sales.” We can almost see them compromising their true self to make a deal or create a connection, albeit, a fake one. Realness breeds trusting relationships and fakeness breeds ill-suited relationships that often end badly. What team do you want to be on?

Action Steps to practicing and reaping authenticity: 

  1. Stop the mini-me syndrome – Diversity and uniqueness build strong, high-functioning teams. Hire people with different skills and abilities. Be aware of whether or not you’re trying to change the individuals to be like you. Honor all varieties of voices and perspectives. Conflict is ok. The key is making sure it’s a productive conflict.
  1. Reflect on your interactions to assess if you were compromising your true self – Did you uphold your core values and your organization’s mission? Did you try to fit into the other person’s mold or stick with your own?
  1. Eliminate imposter syndrome – You―yes, you―deserve all the good that this world has to offer. You are not a fraud. Get rid of self-doubt. Never put yourself down for succeeding. In the words of Stewart Smalley from Saturday Night Live, “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.”
  1. Choose real, not games – You’ll attract more of the right-fit people when you are yourself. The faker you are, the shallower your pond. 
  1. Do your best, be yourself, and be satisfied – Sticking to who you are, your core values, and upholding them as best as you can, will give you more peace of mind. Peace of mind leads to better sleep, less guilt, and more integrity

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.comGet this newsletter delivered to your inbox. Click Here.

Veterans Day

Thursday Thought No. 16 (11/11/21)

Yup, that’s me in the photo—the one with hair. I’m not sharing the picture to boast or brag, but rather to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU! I’m bursting with gratitude as I write this. Gratitude to be surrounded by so many other wonderful veterans, so many civilians that care, and for a country that honors its heroes. I have had the utmost privilege of meeting many outstanding service members since my return home, and especially since I’ve changed careers in July. My life is deeply impacted by these brothers and sisters in arms. The kindred spirit flows through our interwoven relationships and the unspoken bond strengthens with every interaction.

The veteran community is robust, passionate, gritty, funny, caring, empathetic, resourceful, and tough as nails. Our go-to answer is, “yes” and then we figure out how to do it. Work ethic and gumption ooze out of every pore. These are my people.

Please know that every thank you and Veterans Day acknowledgment means the world to me/us and it fills my heart with joy and gratitude. I had to share this outstanding drawing that a 6th grader gave me this morning. Her talent is out of this world and it almost brought me to tears.

Originally, this article was meant to create awareness about Veterans. However, as the day unfolds, and the love continues to grow, I simply want to say, “Thank you!” And if you haven’t reached out to a veteran today, perhaps think about the positive impact of that interaction.

Blessings to you all and thanks to all the Veterans in my life.

Why We Need to Focus on Strengths

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Thursday Thoughts No. 15 (11/4/21)

Unfortunately, one of our greatest human flaws is to look for the faults, negative attributes, and areas of weakness in others. We’re hardwired to compare and judge each other—this goes for teams, businesses, cities, townships, countries, you name it, we tend to compare ourselves to others and try to make ourselves feel superior.

As leaders, we need to change this default setting. According to the book “Nine Lies About Work,” when it comes to creating high-performing teams, highlighting the positive in our employees is a MUST. Here’s the data: Ignoring your employees causes a 1 engaged to 20 disengaged ratio. Negative attention is 40x more effective than ignoring people; the ratio of engaged to disengaged is 2:1. Positive attention creates a 60:1 engaged to disengaged ratio and is 30x more powerful than giving them negative attention and 1,200 times more powerful than ignoring them.

We’re leaving enormous potential on the table when we focus on the negative attributes of our employees. Not only are employees more engaged, but they are more productive, more creative, and are better and faster learners when we focus on their strengths. Positive attention accelerates development. I see this in my own children. When I commend one of them for doing something well, they ALL want to do well. When I scold them for their negative behavior, they tend to repeat that behavior.

Action Steps to Highlight Strengths:

  1. Work on your own inner dialogue when it comes to your employees’ behavior. Look for and applaud the positives instead of letting your innate default setting take over.
  2. When assisting an employee with one of their weaknesses, start the conversation with three things they’ve done well or three things that have worked in the past. This allows the conversation to live in a positive frame of mind.
  3. Know, understand, and foster your employees’ strengths. Put them in positions at work where their strengths can shine more than their weaknesses. For example, If they’re more detail-oriented and analytical, put them in charge of the operations. If they’re more big-picture problem solvers the let them be on the creative side of the business.
  4. Make sure the feedback, advice, and guidance you receive highlight your strengths so that this becomes the way you do business in all aspects of your life.
  5. Make your business a positive, strengths-based business and you’ll be watching the “Great Resignation” happen to others instead of letting it happen to yourself.
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Are you asking yourself, “How do I do this?” I can help!

laura.colbert@strategicleadersacademy.com

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