Getting a Promotion? Here's How to Get Out of It.

Bob Goldman on

No question, getting laid off is terrible. In fact, there's only one thing worse:

Getting promoted.

When you're laid off, everyone comforts you. When you're promoted, everyone hates you. They're all hoping you screw up, which may very well happen.

Let's face it: You're the kind of employee who works best in darkness. A promotion shines a spotlight on the work you're doing -- or not doing. This will not end well.

It's not my purpose to shame you or blame you. It was never your intention to be picked for promotion. You simply made the mistake of doing something right, a rare blunder that caught the attention of your corporate overlords.

It's sad but true. You're just one of the dumb decisions your managers make every day.


If you are threatened with a promotion, act now, before the memo goes out. The Harvard Business Review can help. "How to Help Superstar Employees Fulfill Their Potential," a recent posting by Anthony J. Mayo, describes research on more than 3,000 applications to the school's "flagship High Potential Leadership Program."

This research can be helpful, even for those of us who graduated -- with honors -- from the "No Potential Leadership Program." All you have to do is discover what the High Potential program teaches, and do the exact opposite.

For example:

No. 1: High Potentials must recalibrate from individual accomplishments to collective success.


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