I grew up with the notion that parents know best when it comes to what is good for me. They do in many instances. When I wished for something, I never expressed that desire. I took this philosophy into my work. I expected that excellent performance is all that is needed to see me grow in my job and career. Many times it did.
In my 32 years as a corporate manager, I lived in 4 countries, visited 48 cities, and worked in 20 functional areas. I reported to 26 bosses and had 66 direct reports. For most of these moves, I was presented with the opportunity which I evaluated and took. They were good for me as well as the company.
When I returned to Asia after my assignment in the USA, I had the responsibility for South Asia. The sub-region includes India, the ASEAN countries, Australia and New Zealand. The Asia Pacific division comprised of North Asia, led by my peer and South Asia.
After excelling in that position, another opportunity arose. My boss wanted to return to the USA. I knew that I had a chance for his job. I also knew that the management is also considering someone else. That person was performing equally well.
When I weighed the various factors, I had many advantages. I am an Asian on local payroll. So from a cost standpoint, I would be more effective. Considering all the factors, I thought that I would be a "shoo-in".
Little did I know I had to fight for the job. My mentor, a member of the management team, told me that I had to tell the president that I wanted the job. I was surprised! I argued and tried to rationalize that the president should know. In her wisdom, she said, "If you want the job badly enough, you will tell him so. He needs to hear that commitment from you." Her words set me thinking. I realize how right she is.
My chance came when my president came for a visit. He had a busy schedule and the only private time that I have with him is driving him to the airport. It was going to be a half hour ride. I rehearsed and rehearsed my conversation. Despite the fact that my president is a good listener and an easy person to talk to, I am not familiar with this type of conversation. I plan to tell him that I am the best person for the job, that the role means a lot to me and why I am an asset to the organization. It wasn't the most comfortable dialogue I had with him.
The rest is history. I got the job. The conversation during the drive to the airport must have helped.
Good performance is a given. It is very important to get your stakeholder to hear your commitment and desire. Some may argue about my arrogance in telling my leader that I am the best candidate. It is still an interview. SO TELL YOUR LEADER IF YOU WANT THE JOB!!