Written by James Green
Last month I was fortunate enough to participate in iluminr’s “Big Resilience Reset” (You can catch a replay here) and one of the questions Marcus Vaughan asked Rina Singh and I was, “What is an indicator to know whether you are on track with your resilience program?”
My answer to the question was a question in itself: Have you been promoted? My answer/question certainly generated quite a bit of discussion in the chatbox – one I did not expect! Now, why did I ask this?
Because often this is an indicator if your organization sees you as valuable.
Before I go any further, I want to highlight a few exclusions. First, many of us work in flat organizations, or small companies, where there may only be 2 to 3 layers between the CEO and the most junior employee. In those situations, promotions are few and far between for anyone. Second, if you have been at your job for 3 months and are complaining that you should already be the CEO, you might want to readjust your expectations. Third, when I talk about your value, I am not speaking about your value as a person, but how management sees the value of your job function.
When I coach people who feel that they are stuck in their careers, I first ask if they have been with their organization a few years, and if members of their peer group have been promoted. If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then I want to know if the person I am working with has ever been promoted at their current organization. There are two big reasons why people aren’t moving up in an organization that I’m going to skip over for now. The first is that the person does not have the necessary skills or qualifications. The second reason is that the person does not fit in culturally. I am going to address that second reason in another blog, as sometimes a person truly isn’t a good fit, but often management uses “cultural fit” as a code word for unconscious bias.
This leaves one item left – the value of your job and function as viewed by management.
Assume none of the caveats above are applicable to you, and you’re doing great work, everyone likes working with you, you exhibit strong leadership and you get strong performance reviews every year, but after 7 years, you are still the “BC Manager”.
Guess what? What you do is not valuable to your organization.
Rina said that this realization hit her right in the heart, and while it may feel confronting, there is a silver lining.
Because several years ago at a company I worked for, my mentor told me this very thing – my work was not valuable. It really hurt to hear that the organization did not value my work and department.
But then I realized that my mentor was completely right. And I am so thankful that she told me that the organization didn’t really value business continuity and resilience. Because it changed my entire career.
Is this where you’re at right now? Not valued? In my next post I will share what to do.
About James Green
James Green is a Strategic Advisor for iluminr. He has worked on risk events that have occurred all over the globe, whether it was civil unrest in Egypt during the Arab Spring or typhoons in the Pacific Rim. He holds multiple risk management certifications and is a sought-after speaker on the topics of risk and resilience. In 2020 he was named the Business Continuity Institute’s Continuity and Resilience Consultant of the Americas, becoming the first person to be honored with this award twice. In 2021 he was one of the global Co-Founders of the Resilience Think Tank, which is dedicated to providing guidance and research to the risk and resilience industry.