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Getting Promoted During A Crisis or Pandemic


During a pandemic or crisis, a time when companies are cutting back, laying off, and off-boarding employees, getting promoted can present some challenges. Just doing your job well is not enough. These are the time when strengths in leadership and decision making can prove quite beneficial. I recently coached a millennial who thought it impossible to achieve a promotion six months ago, when COVID-19 struck.  Co-workers and colleague were being denied. Watching their results, she reached out.   What did we focus on?

Bringing excellence to the table. Excellence is a mindset. It is manifested through our actions, behaviors and thoughts. During crisis and turmoil, it is often one of the first mindsets dropped. Mental blocks form. We are so engulfed in surviving, riding the storm, we begin to accept the “this is normal or okay for the circumstances” which represents lowering our excellence bar.


Coaching questions: What does excellence look like during crisis time? How will I manifest excellence no matter the circumstances?

Do not focus on getting a promotion What? Focusing on the promotion serves as a distraction. Although the promotion is a great end result and outcome it’s not the focus. The focus is to Kill it! Slay it! whatever term you use to define bringing your best. If you can embrace the mindset, “promotion or no promotion I will succeed” you’ve got it. My father instilled a little saying, “A person rejoices in his/her work when they have given their best. Because no reasonable person can ask or demand more.”

Coaching questions: On a scale of 1-10, how important is the promotion to me? How could solely focusing on getting the promotion impede my efforts?

Indispensable not irreplaceable The reality is we all are replaceable in the workforce arena. I learned that lesson after being hit and run over by a car, that’s how I got the name TBone. I was the VP’s right hand. They had to replace me, his right hand. However, my work was indispensable.  The stream-lining processes I had created in operations could not be disregarded or neglected. They were indispensable. Whatever future improvements created would be based on the foundations I had built.


Coaching questions: How bullet proof am I? What work legacy am I creating that will serve as the continual basis for improvement?

Advocate for yourself. Memory is a tricky thing. Our natural or acquired talents and strengths are often oblivious to us. They become second nature. Document your success and keep a living portfolio. I will admit in vulnerability that even I personally want improvement in this area. Although not focusing on the promotion per se realize on the back-burner that leadership is about the value you bring to your followers lives and the business.  Instead of trying to recall everything you’ve done, write it down as you accomplish it. Then pen those leadership qualities you utilized to accomplish the task or reach the outcome. Collaborative, insightful, dedicated, loyal are only adjectives unless you have concrete specific stories and examples to weave into the narrative. This is a great way to tap into self-confidence.


Those were the simple areas we focused on plus some interpersonal communication skills and strategies that assisted in landing a promotion during a pandemic. Thanks for reading. 

“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.”
- Bruce Lee

Thanks Dreena for letting me share your story!

TBone Your Urban Leadership Development Coach

#coachtbone. . #urbanleadership

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