The story I’m about to tell about a path to promotion is one I’ve told but not written. It’s a story I often shared when completing new hire orientation. I used it as an example of creating a position. The story begins during a call-center employment interview.

How to Create a Path to Promotion

The Interview

I was conducting interviews for a near minimum wage position for a telemarketer. The position was cold calling for a residential home remodeling company. It was a tough job that required a particular set of skills. Brad was early for the interview. He patiently waited in the break room. I greeted him and explained I’d be with him shortly.

He had been the assistant plant manager of a manufacturing facility that went out of business in his hometown, a small western Indiana town almost an hour’s drive away. Strikes one, two, and three—we couldn’t pay him what he’d been making, the drive was too far, and he had no sales or marketing experience. I shared this with him and thanked him for coming in. He didn’t leave, he fought back, and then he asked if he could work overtime. Yes, he could. He asked if there was there any bonus or commission? Yes, there was. Then he said he and his wife had talked about moving to Indianapolis. He didn’t give up. I hired him.

6 Months Later

Brad was doing well. At the time, our organization set up a booth in a couple of trade shows per year. He volunteered to help with the show. Most employees didn’t want to. They thought it wasn’t the best use of their time. Brad proved them wrong. He not only worked the show but asked if could find more shows. He did this from his car, often after hours, off the clock, with samples and materials he pieced together. Brad became one of our best lead sources, and not only the number of leads but the quality.

And it Grew

Eventually, he was in so many shows we bought him a company truck, and then we built samples. Next, we allowed him to hire a team. The Home Show department grew to be a major lead source and was a large part of the tremendous growth of the company.

The Awards Banquet

Four years later I stood next to Brad at our annual awards banquet as the president of the company introduced our newest vice president—Brad. I had tears in my eyes. And to think, I tried to talk him out of the job.

What Path Are You On?

If you wait for the perfect position to open up, you may be waiting a long time, but if you create the position—it’s yours. Brad created a path to promotion, by developing a department that fit his personality and then surrounded himself with a group of like–minded teammates. A few years ago Brad retired due to medical issues, but his story lives on. Will yours? Where is your path leading you?

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.

If you enjoyed this post you might also appreciate this post, Why You Should Set Expectations with Trainees from Day One. 

Photo by Alexander Milo on Unsplash