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By: Dr. John T. Self

How to Get a Job Promotion

You're a General Manager and you feel ready for promotion to supervisor or regional manager. You might even think you're past due for the promotion.

So what's going to give you the edge over other general managers?

You are probably doing well in costs, with a great P & L. But so are other managers.

You've got a clean restaurant and always score high when the health department comes calling. So do the other managers.

High sales? Can you really say that you are the cause of great sales or did you inherit them?

One thing that can really help earn you that promotion is how well your assistant managers have been developed into outstanding assistant managers who are ready and eager to go to the next level.

Which manager has the reputation of having her or his assistants promoted? Remember, the higher in an organization you go, the more important it is that you development your subordinates.

Regardless of your current management level, promotions will come to those perceived able to do well at the next level, and not just to those that are doing an outstanding job at their current level. You always want to be perceived at being capable at the next level.

What does your supervisor do? Ask him. He'll probably tell you that he or she spends a considerable amount of time developing managers. Is that important? You bet.

Take the time to know your assistants, with their individual strengths and weaknesses. Have meetings with them to share your views because it may be news to them.

Don't just criticize: Work with your assistants when they make a mistake. Ask them why they made the decision. What was their thought process that made them make the particular decision? Tell them the way you would have done it and why your decision would have been better--saved money, less time, more efficient, prevented future problems, etc. Teach them. Coach them. Give your assistants constant feedback. Don't wait for the 6 month review. That is way too late: You want them better now, not later. Give them specific goals each week. This allows for opportunities to excel, to learn, and grow.

In other words, help those below you become ready for a promotion, and odds are you'll soon find yourself promoted, too.

About the author:  John T. Self is a lecturer at The Collins School of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona). Prior to entering academe, Dr. Self spent fifteen years in the restaurant industry. While in the corporate world, he worked for several chains including overseeing six restaurants with sales of over twenty million dollars. He has also owned three independent restaurants. While at Golden Gate University, he started the partnership with Dalian University of Technology in Dalian, China and is continuing in that involvement at Cal Poly.

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