At first glance, he had an impressive resume.In I Created A Monster Softball She Calls Me Mom Shirt over two years, his title and responsibility increased three times.Repeatedly, his resume boasted of “Promoted to …” showing someone in his company thought highly of him.Throughout his interview with me, he leaned heavily on those promotions as proof of his talent and production.There was just one problem.He could’t tell me why he received those promotionsA softball interview question is typically something like “Tell me about the results you delivered to earn that promotion.”The problem with three promotions in two years is that you really haven’t been in a position long enough to see your decisions deliver results.If you are in a management role for six months, you are living with the previous manager’s decisions. You inherit someone else’s team. You inherit their strategic decisions.Political figures argue over this all the time. If the economy is working out, they take credit. If the economy is falling apart, they blame their predecessor for as long as they can.In business, you rarely make such an impact early that the results would show in a six-month window. It is possible, which is why I gave this young man a chance to articulate how he did it.
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He shared how the results improved in I Created A Monster Softball She Calls Me Mom Shirt short windows but couldn’t describe exactly what he did to drive the improvement.The more I dug in, the more I learned. He was promoted each time because someone else quit.This was the same reason he was looking to leave the company after two years and multiple promotions.He was receiving “battlefield promotions” where he was the only option when a departing employee left a higher position vacant.Worse, he didn’t get it.This was his first company out of college and he truly believed he was killing it, with proof being his promotions, results notwithstanding.He was sure that he was destined for greatness and spent a good chunk of the interview asking me about opportunities for growth.“What would the next role be after this entry position?”“How quickly do most people move into that next position?”“How much income does that position make above this entry level position?”“What is your company’s stance on promoting from within?”His entire definition of success was built on swiftness to promotions. His company had conditioned him to expect a new position every six to nine months.