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The Link Between Promotion & Reputation

By January 30, 2018Uncategorized

Nobody likes it when the bully gets promoted.

Apart from the bully, of course

It takes a lot of effort to justify it in our minds.

Is it because they did a good job? We didn’t see it.

Does it matter that some people are terrified of this person? Doesn’t appear so.

So now I have to be aggressive to get ahead? No thanks.

Who you promote, when you promote and how you promote are all important.


Because it sets a tone for the business.

You’re sharing a piece of valuable information.

It communicates your real values to the rest of the organisation.

When an organisation promotes someone who isn’t trustworthy, it’s a valuable piece of communication.

Even if you have a big plaque on the wall declaring TRUST is a value of the business, the promotion says:

We value underhandedness here. We care more about performance than relationships. Success here isn’t about who you are, it’s about what you do.

The result?

Your people don’t feel comfortable or safe in the place they work. The office becomes a breeding ground for insecurities. Behaviours begin to change to reflect the perceived success factors.

And you lose control.

It’s why the saying People leave managers, not jobs rings true.

We want to respect the people leading us. We want to trust them. And look up to them.

This is why it’s important to be aware of the impact and reputation of the person you’re looking to promote.

Sure, they hit their targets and met their objectives, but do people like to be around them?

Does their team respect them?

Is there more work to be done here?

Use the 360 review process to gauge this information. Have informal chats with the team (or bring an external party in to do this for you). Socialise with them with others and observe what happens.

Leaders in the organisation have a dual responsibility on their shoulders. First, to nurture future leaders of the business, and second to promote the ones who’ll maintain the integrity you set.

Points to ponder:

Who are you eyeing for a promotion?

What’s their current reputation in the organisation?

What will this promotion say about what you value as a leader?

The bonus? The people you promote are an important reflection of you as a leader, too.

Choose wisely.



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