The bigger the goal, the better. The bleaker the situation, the better. The bigger the competition, the better. The greater the odds, the greater our commitment.
The idea is for us to help candidates chase something where the deadline matters, where not achieving the goal has negative consequences and where achieving the goal can transform one’s career. We look for candidates who have that one opportunity which could transform their careers.
Without a tangible goal it will be impossible to know if we were successful. For example, maybe a candidate is struggling to reach a market share target or struggling to get a plant to achieve a production goal or launch a product. Those are all measurable. And the person must be accountable for the goal. The key is to have a measurable and hard goal we can track.
We focus on teaching the key skills of planning, communication, networking, building alliances, analyzing issues, presenting to superiors, building teams, managing teams, building a business, analyzing a business model, building confidence, dealing with racial issues, how to avoid being sidelined etc. Skills are taught in a practical manner so that the participant may apply them.
The idea was to build a program for managers and executives that is designed exclusively for their needs. It is tailored to achieve a specific corporate goal, while managing one’s reputation, building and strengthening networks, acquiring and polishing a solid business skill-set and navigating the political landscape, so that participants can advance their careers.
Since the goal of each participant is very different, we build a custom program for each candidate to help solve the problem. All we can say is the program is completely bespoke based on whom we select. It will involve virtual sessions and numerous telephone updates.
The training program for each candidate will last between 6 to 12 months, and possibly longer if the goal is significant.
Profile of a Typical Participant
Alex is in his mid-30’s, married, with a young daughter and a stalled career. He works at a major investment bank and remains overwhelmed by his lack of progress, strong competition from peers and the confusing path to becoming a bank executive. When Alex applied for this program and went through the interview process, he had strongly considered leaving the bank and quitting on his ambitions.
Despite his current career hurdles and a challenging background, Alex began his career in a stunning manner.
Alex completed an undergraduate degree in the sciences from a non-target school in an emerging markets country. With limited options available he founded and ran a small IT consulting company. The company was successful and grew to 11 employees before the loss of a major client and a credit crunch saw them lose revenue overnight. It was a fatal loss that killed the company.
As this was happening, Alex took up the referral offer from a client and parlayed his technology experience into management consulting.
He joined McKinsey BTO where he stayed for just under 2 years as an associate. In Alex’s words, “things never really worked at McKinsey.” He did well but did not believe he could be or would be considered partner material. He did not like the constant travelling and pressures. McKinsey was more a stepping stone than a career. He generally did well, and despite liking McKinsey, did not like the business model and environment.
He actively sought opportunities to leave.
After McKinsey Alex joined a global investment bank in the London Rotational Program serving 4 month stints each in investment banking, asset management, wealth management and technology services.
He fondly remembers those days. Everything seemed possible.
He, thereafter, joined the wealth management division on the London desk and rose to the position of Vice President. Alex had hoped his technology background would give him an edge as the bank heavily automated key functions in wealth management.
This did not happen.
Wealth management had become a priority of the CEO and this was where all the stars of the bank were migrating to make a career.
Alex struggled to rise above his peers, and while he did well, he was not moving ahead very fast. He was now at the point when tenure and not demonstrated abilities pushed his career forward.
This meant he faced the prospect of getting promoted only after spending years at each level. This could mean spending up to 5 years at each level. Being promoted at this slow rate was the kiss of death. It meant he would likely be a career senior executive but never in executive management. And almost certainly never run a P&L: which remains the true base of power in a company.
He, thereafter, sought more opportunities to accelerate his career within wealth management.
Alex accepted a transfer to a new office where he has been given the assignment to build a new business, from scratch. This is a rare opportunity to build a P&L for an important product in an important office.
He has a small budget, a telephone, a desk, no business plan, no idea how to do it and zero employees. He needs to motivate people to join his fledging team of just 1. His job is to create a viable and profitable new business while competing against better funded and entrenched competitors in one of world’s most vibrant economies.
Alex believed his transfer and assignment to build the new business is not necessarily a step ahead.
If he manages it well, it could be. Yet, he believes that he was sent onto this new assignment partially to be sidelined. He feels that he has not distinguished himself and the transfer was something he accepted, versus fighting it, simply to put distance between his previous lukewarm banking experiences and potential future achievements. He needs to make this role, and business, a success if he is to progress further into management.
In his mind, this is his last shot to break out of middle to lower management. If he does not break this orbit now, he will always be stuck at this middling level.
Friends and family have asked him to consider an MBA to change his career. Yet, the opportunity cost is too large for him to bear, with no real guarantees of a better outcome. In fact, an MBA will simply slow him down and distract him. It will be a step back. He needs to get results. He does not need a refresher on business theory. An MBA will not improve his ability to build a business. In fact, taking time away so late in his career will hurt him.
This is when Alex joins “The Promotion”.
“The Promotion” application process and privacy considerations
Do you identify with Alex’s experiences?
We are looking for ambitious individuals who are interested in the training and guidance to meet challenging internal corporate goals or build new startups, and as a result advance their careers.
As always, everything will be recorded though the identity of the candidate’s employer cannot and will not be disclosed for legal reasons. The candidate’s name and some other details will also be changed to protect the candidate’s privacy and his/her employer’s identity.
Please note the following when applying:
- There is no age limit
- If you are launching a start-up please send us as much details about the idea, team, funding etc.
- Anyone from anywhere in the world may apply
- The goal must be significant, against tough competitors
- You must be responsible for the goal
- We should be able to track progress towards the goal
- Those working in cost-centres like IT, audit, R&D, innovation etc. may apply
- We are looking for applicants working at larger companies, though not necessarily Fortune 1,000
When applying please consider that we carefully distinguish between aspiration and ambition. Aspiration is the desire to have a better life and to be an executive leader. Most aspire to this life/goal. Aspiration is insufficient by itself. We look for both aspiration and ambition. Ambition is the willingness and ability to act in pursuit of one’s aspirations.
Kindly apply at [email protected]. You would need to submit a resume, clear headshot, a brief explanation of the business challenge and why you are interested in joining “The Promotion” training program.
Note: As always, some details above were altered for confidentiality reasons.
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