Promotion Killers: Not Understanding Business

I hear it a couple of times a week. One of my clients says, “I didn’t get the promotion I wanted. When I asked why, I was told that I’m not strategic enough.” That can be a catch-all phrase to explain away why another candidate was chosen over you. Often times, it has no real meaning. On the other hand, not being strategic, not demonstrating that you see and understand the big picture, can be an impediment to your corporate climb. As you move up the corporate ladder, you have to become more strategic. You need to learn about some promotion killers. You need to develop your business acumen. Think of business acumen in two ways. First, you have to have a basic understanding of how your company makes money. This means that you have to have a working knowledge of finance, marketing, sales, and operations. Second, you have to use this to make sound decisions that contribute to your company’s profitability.

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