#66: How To Get A Promotion

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This is a podcast episode titled, #66: How To Get A Promotion. The summary for this episode is: If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. ----- Breaking down DC's three rules for getting a promotion. Here’s how you can support Seeking Wisdom if you’re a fan of the show: 1. Subscribe on your favorite podcast app. 2. Leave us a five-star review. Here's how: bit.ly/5-Stars-Only. 3. Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter. 4. Learn more about Drift at Drift.com. PS. We just announced our first annual conference, HYPERGROWTH. Get your tickets at hypergrowth.drift.com

Dave: You ready?

David: I'm ready. Are you ready?

Dave: I'm ready.

David: All right.

Dave: I got my notes.

David: Uh- oh. Look at him, he's got a notebook, he's got a laptop.

Dave: You know what we're going to talk about?

David: What's that?

Dave: Today on Seeking Wisdom, we're going to talk about how to get a promotion.

David: Whoo! Let's talk about this, man, I'm ready. Okay.

Dave: Yeah. But first, this is the first podcast we've done in this new office, this new studio setup. Amy hooked us up with a nice video.

David: Wow, thank you, Amy.

Dave: The other day we were walking through the mall, and somebody just yelled out, Seeking Wisdom.

David: It was amazing, had no idea who they were.

Dave: No idea. Literally no idea.

David: It was great.

Dave: That was amazing.

David: Fan love, whoever you were, shout- out at you.

Dave: Shout- out. Yeah. Let us know, tweet at us. All right. So this is going to be a popular episode because it's about getting promoted at work, which is a popular topic, everybody wants to get promoted. Per usual, this started with a text 6: 37 AM yesterday morning.

David: Oh, late.

Dave: That was late. Let's do a show on how to get promoted.

David: Okay.

Dave: What were you thinking about? Where did this idea come from?

David: It's so deep. Because it's a question that comes up a lot and caveat, right? There's going to be a whole different playbook for how you should do this in a slow growth or no growth company. We're really only talking about our experiences, which is kind of in a hyper- growth situation.

Dave: Nice.

David: Like that inaudible.

Dave: Good drop.

David: Good drop?

Dave: Good drop.

David: Okay. In a fast growing company.

Dave: Okay.

David: And so that's the caveat. But people ask me all the time, so I get emails or texts or whatever, people ask me, or want to have coffee, do you have 15 minutes? I'm thinking about how do I get promoted? And so I want to talk about my rules for how you get promoted.

Dave: I'm just smiling because you had a great rant the other day about-

David: So many.

Dave: ...people trying to get on your calendar.

David: Oh my god.

Dave: It's always a ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, give, which is the opposite of-

David: Here we practice, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, and maybe even never an ask, right? But I was ranting about people who are just all asks.

Dave: All asks. I saw it, it was crazy. All right. So you came up, we traded a bunch of messages on this, and I kind of turned these into what we'll call DC's three rules for getting promoted. All right? So the first one and who knows if you're going to remember these, I know you but the first one... This is yesterday morning. The first one is the 120 plus six rule. Do you remember this?

David: Yeah, it's my favorite rule.

Dave: All right, what is it?

David: So how do we set this up? So it's the 120%/ 6 rule.

Dave: Yeah. So you said, number one rule for getting promoted, you need to be doing 120% of your current role for a minimum of six months. Here's the caveat, no blips.

David: No blips, yeah.

Dave: Right?

David: Yep. So one of the common patterns I see in people who I talk to who want to get promoted is that in my opinion, and only, in my opinion, they're not yet doing a 100% of their current job, but they're worried about the next step. So they want to go from A to Z-

Dave: What's a 100%?

David: So it depends on your role, right? Everyone's going to have a different 100%. So wherever you work, whoever you work for, whatever company you work for, they have some definition of what they think, or the business thinks is a 100% of this role that you're in today, right? And so my rule is you need to be doing a 100% of that, no blips. So how do you know if you have a blip? If you have a manager who's constantly coming to you and say, hey, Dave, you forgot about this. What about that? Oh, this time you did it, but you forgot these three steps, right? Those are all blips to me, so you're doing a 100% of your role. And then the 20 comes in where you're doing then not only a 100% of your role but let's say 20% more, you're taking 20% on of new challenges that grow you into a new role.

Dave: We've been reading Radical Candor, Kim Scott. Shout out to Kim. And her point on this is, the 120% is it's more work than it even seems possible for one person, that's the measure, right? You think you might be pushing somebody too much or taking on too much work, that's how you know, that's the difference between a 100 and 120.

David: Exactly. And a 100 and a 120% don't neatly map to hours, so it's not an hours thing because you might be doing a 100% of your job in 30 hours or 20 hours. Who knows how great you are at your job. But the 20% is, you got to be able to do your job for, in my opinion, six months without blips, right? Before you even talking about this. In a slower growth company, then you're talking years, right? And take on 20% extra that no one has asked you to take on, demonstrating that you're ready for that next jump, right? I'd say, when that happens, when you're a 120/ 6 type person, what happens is that it becomes apparent to everyone around you that it's clear why you need to move on to the next role.

Dave: Yeah. I want to read some of your texts because sometimes the best stuff comes from you raw in the moment.

David: Don't.

Dave: It's okay.

David: You might have to filter it.

Dave: It's okay. This is no filter, you are safe. You said your manager never needs to ask where things are or why you didn't do it. You're killing your job for six months minimum with no blips, you're doing 20% above your job role, and you're constantly taking on new challenges on your own, finding problems and going out and fixing them. I think that's the number one thing.

David: I like that last part.

Dave: Yeah. This person never says, oh, that's not my job, right?

David: Oh, you didn't ask me to do that.

Dave: Or does it for the credit, right? You didn't ask me to do it, you go and find the things that's going to make everybody better. All right. So that's the 120 plus six rule.

David: Do you like that rule?

Dave: That's rule number one. I love that rule.

David: Okay.

Dave: I love that rule. But I think a lot of people think it's a 100%, I don't think they know how far the bar is between 80, a 100, and 120.

David: Yep, it's a hard-

Dave: Sometimes, it's high. All right.

David: But the good thing... Sorry, before you go into that.

Dave: Yeah, yeah, go.

David: But a simple rule that you can apply to yourself if you're wondering about this, is to ask yourself, do you feel like you're doing a 100% of what you're doing? No one ever has to come to you, right, you're self- sufficient, you're doing your stuff, and you're doing a little bit more, right? Before you're worried about how do I manage people? How do I go to the next level? How do I get three promotions down the line? You think you're a 100%, it's clear to everyone this person, whatever their name is, is doing a 100% of their job autopilot.

Dave: Yep. Yep, that's a great way. All right. Number two. I call this one show it before you get the title.

David: Tell me more.

Dave: This one is, if you want to manage people, you have to show that ability before you actually get the job title. And so we traded back and forth on this. And it's, you have naturally stepped up to become a leader before someone says, here you go, Bob.

David: Here are the keys.

Dave: Now you are a leader. Here are the keys, it's time for you to become a leader, right? I think the thing that you talked about is, everybody around that person should know, oh yeah, they're already doing this. Now they just have the title to go with it.

David: Yeah. The worst thing that can happen in a scenario where you're promoting someone is that you promote someone into a position where they manage people, but no one around them, their peers, thinks that that person's capable of managing people.

Dave: Has that happened? Have you seen that happen before?

David: Oh yeah, plenty of times.

Dave: What happens then?

David: Chaos, right? So-

Dave: When everybody's like what the...

David: Yeah. It never ends well, right? Because one, they don't have the support of their peers, right? And two, they're learning on the job while the peers around them have kind of a critical view on them. And so the reason that this one comes up is a lot of times, and this is a problem within most companies, is that there's no progression path outside of moving towards managing someone, right? And what I've done in the past, we haven't done this yet at Drift, but I've done in the past is to have dual tracks always where you can get promoted at the same rate as you would being a manager, being a non- manager. So just being better and better at your skill, right? And growing there and not having the same level of pay, the same level of equity, the same everything, but you don't have to manage people.

Dave: I'm glad you brought that up because this is the thing that you circled and highlighted in the Radical Candor book, which is, there's a difference between superstars and rock stars. And one isn't better or worse.

David: No, it's not better or worse. So these are two different paths, and this one is important because a lot of times when people say, I want to start managing people. They might not necessarily want to manage people. What they're saying is I want a promotion, right? And then the only way in their scenario might be I have to manage someone.

Dave: And sometimes that might not even be the best thing for the company, right? If you move that person out of a doing role into a management role, you might have a gap in the doing role. Yeah. Okay.

David: And then the other part about that is that you need to be operating, you need to be seen as a leader, right? And a leader to me, is someone, and I don't know if this is rule three, is someone that is worried about those people around them. And lifting the people around them up more than they are worried about themselves.

Dave: Yeah. No, I kept this as part of two because I think these are all things that you need to show as a person. And I know the number one thing from you, and you say this all the time is weaver's eye. That's something you listen to in interviews, you see in people's writing. Explain that.

David: Yeah. So that comes up, that's key here. So when you're talking to someone and you're interviewing someone, or even in this scenario, someone wants to move into management. What are the words that they're using? Is it about we as a team, as a sub- team, as a group, as a whatever? Is it we that they're talking about, or is it mostly I? And I find a lot of times, people who want to move into management prematurely to manage people want to have never managed anyone by definition. Having shown those leadership qualities but are more worried about me, me, me, I, I, I want this, I want this, I want this. And the people that they want to manage never comes into the conversation.

Dave: Yeah. You said you should be worried about those other people... It's funny, just when you text sometimes, it's more poetic than if you had sat down and all right, I'm going to write something. This is perfect.

David: Because I'm mad.

Dave: Because it's just, no, a stream of consciousness.

David: Stream of consciousness.

Dave: You said you should be worried about those other people growing more than you growing.

David: Yes.

Dave: You should care about giving them credit and not about taking the credit. If people don't already see you as a leader and want to follow, then I can't just give you that title and make it so.

David: Yep, exactly. So yeah-

Dave: All right, so that's-

David: ...I did sound better in text. Yeah.

Dave: You do. You do. All right. So rule number one is 120 plus six. Number two is show it before you get the title. And number three, I made this rule up based on a bunch of things, but we're going to call it, stay two steps ahead.

David: Okay.

Dave: And so this one is about you always need to be prepared and ahead. And this was, actually we had talked about Amy who's in the room, for example-

David: Oh, yeah.

Dave: ...just-

David: Let's talk about Amy.

Dave: Yeah, just give that example, the thing that we've talked about a bunch.

David: Yeah. So, Amy, who's in the room, we'll see if we can embarrass her, I don't think it's possible.

Dave: She's not on camera so she won't get embarrassed.

David: Yeah, that's true. I can't see her through these lights. So Amy, I thought, she recently went on vacation. Where'd you go, Amy?

Amy: Italy.

David: Italy. She went to Italy. Shout- out Italy.

Dave: Those pictures were nice.

David: Yeah, it was great. We were looking at the pictures, they were amazing. So anyway, she went to Italy but one thing that I remarked to Dave, it was how amazing of a job Amy did in preparing for her being gone from the office. And so she had spent, I didn't know this, but it seems like she had, and you can talk more about this, spent time working on a plan to make sure that nothing was going to be dropped while she was gone. And so while she was gone, of course, nothing was dropped, everything kept going great. And to me, I looked at that and said, wow, that's an amazing thing that very few people do to be that prepared.

Dave: Yeah. And I think it took seeing that to realize how few people actually do that. And so Amy had this trip planned, so our one- on- one is on Monday afternoons, and basically, a month prior to this, every single one- on- one, she was like," Reminder, I'm going to be out. Here's the six things that I have going on between now and then." And she just basically wrote the whole playbook of what do you need from me between now and then? What do you need from me between now and then? And had the whole thing written out. And so she's a designer and marketer, so all of her video content, designs, images, everything was ready and scheduled, gone. And so she was out for 10 days, and we didn't miss a beat. And that's the thing that you realize that a lot of people don't do is because a lot of people... It all just starts with self- awareness, I'm going to be out for X amount of time. How does that impact the other people on the team around me? And so this is why I called this one the stay two steps ahead because it starts with thinking about how the things you do have an impact on everybody else on the team. And that's the biggest example of we, not me.

David: Absolutely. So that's leadership shining through right there through Amy. Amy's a leader, natural- born leader.

Dave: So that's what it is.

David: So back to promos, I often see people who want, in my history, in my life, people who've wanted to be promoted but who can't be gone for two hours without something going wrong, right?

Dave: Totally.

David: Right. And so they're not staying two steps ahead.

Dave: Totally. All right. So that's today, DC's three rules for getting promoted. The 120 and six rule, do a 120% of your job for a minimum of six months. Number two, show it before you get the title, you got to have people thinking that way before you actually get the promotion. And then number three, stay two steps ahead, you got to be prepared in order to get it.

David: AKA the Amy rule.

Dave: AKA the Amy rule. That's a better rule-

David: Amy rule.

Dave: ...that's how you-

David: Better name.

Dave: ...make that memorable. All right. Shout- out time. This is when the music comes in. Although we did get a four- star review, there was a troll.

David: What?

Dave: We got trolled.

David: Who was that?

Dave: Somebody said, stop asking for five- star reviews so much, I'd rather listen to audible ads.

David: And they give us four stars?

Dave: They're subscribed to the show though, so I shout it out.

David: That's our first four- star review.

Dave: First four-star review.

David: I can't believe it. Team inaudible community.

Dave: No, this is good. We have haters now.

David: Okay, okay, okay. Okay, we got some-

Dave: Haters is good. All right. This five- star-

David: You know why hate is good?

Dave: Why?

David: It's feedback.

Dave: Keeps you grounded.

David: Yeah. It's feedback.

Dave: Man, yeah, yesterday there was somebody, and you kept saying to me, don't get defensive. Don't get defensive.

David: Don't get defensive.

Dave: It's hard. It's hard.

David: It's hard, yeah. Take the inaudible.

Dave: All right. This five- star review is from Waffle Time. Waffle Time said," It's refreshing to listen to a thought- provoking podcast that trades in the stodginess of a typical business podcast for a down to earth discussion that's both engaging and fun. The Dave's," although you're not Dave to me," The Dave's make a great duo and episodes range from in- depth discussions with marketing and sales leaders to vignettes on different business and life topics. I've enjoyed this podcast for some time, so this five- star review is long overdue. Keep up the good work."

David: Whoo, what's up Waffle Time?

Dave: That just proves that there's people, like you always say, I know you're out there.

David: I know, he was waiting. He was waiting. He or she, I don't know.

Dave: Take us out here.

David: So are we shipping this podcast today?

Dave: Sure.

David: All right. So we're going to ship this today. If you're listening to this today, which is, what day, Thursday?

Dave: Thursday.

David: Thursday. What day? April 13th?

Dave: This is the kind of life that-

David: No idea what day is. So Thursday, April 13th, if you're listening today and you're in Boston, we're having a meet- up, almost 200 people have signed up, come to our offices 6: 30 PM.

Dave: Tonight.

David: Come hang with us, we'll be here. Copley Place, Boston, come hang out.

Dave: I love it.

David: All right, you know what to do, even though we have haters, five- star reviews only. On iTunes and Amazon, there's a book called Hypergrowth and go use that Seeking Wisdom coupon code.

Dave: Seeking Wisdom coupon code, hypergrowth. drift. com.

David: Let's do it.

Dave: All right.

David: See you people.

Dave: Peace.

David: Bye.


If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. ----- Breaking down DC's three rules for getting a promotion. Here’s how you can support Seeking Wisdom if you’re a fan of the show: 1. Subscribe on your favorite podcast app. 2. Leave us a five-star review. Here's how: bit.ly/5-Stars-Only. 3. Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter. 4. Learn more about Drift at Drift.com. PS. We just announced our first annual conference, HYPERGROWTH. Get your tickets at hypergrowth.drift.com