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My Promotion...NOT "All That"!

Wow, one would think that a promotion from Property Supervisor to Regional Manager on a partnership track would be the epitome of property management ladder climbing. Honestly, for the fifteen years that I have been in this profession, I have only dreamed of such a moment. All I can say is…be careful what you ambition for.

I was an excellent leasing consultant because I was great with residents and prospects. I had (and still have) a talent for smooth resident relations, and I could literally anticipate the needs of the potential residents that came to my community. I can relate to people and I have been told that I have a genuine style that is seen as sincere and honest. Leasing came easy to me because that is who I am. I did not have to alter who I was in order to do my job. 

Stay with me…

Because I excelled at leasing, I was promoted to Assistant Manager then Property Manager and finally Property Supervisor. I enjoyed being a Property Manager and Supervisor because it was like my leasing position, less the paperwork the manager would have me do.  I had all of my previous responsibilities, but now I had decision making power! Again, I was an excellent manager and supervisor because it felt natural to me. I loved speaking with the residents and solving problems, I also loved working with and training my team, so the added management responsibility was just icing on the cake of upward mobility!

See where I am going with this?

To be fair, I must tell you that my spouse received a big promotion that warranted a move out of state, so I did change property management companies about three years after becoming a Property Supervisor.  With my previous experience and easy advancement transitions, I applied for and was successful in securing a position as a Regional Manager. The Regional Manager position would grow into a Partnership with the organization. Oh my gosh, this was it!! My final level before I reach ultimate property management satisfaction and success!  One year into my new position, I realized a few things:

·         I was not happy

·         I was not being “me” at work

·         I felt like a professional “brown noser”

·         I felt burned out, worn out and I wanted out

·         I was not happy

Why did this promotion not feel right for me? I should be happy right?

Unfortunately, I find this happens quite often. We take our “star player” and promote them to a position to which they are not intrinsically attracted, which will ultimately lead to burn out and loss of interest.  As a manager and professional, I now realize that the best reward for a great employee is not always promotion.  An increase in salary is always nice, and can be done instead of offering a promotion. It is not fair for us to expect the employee to change or alter his/her natural gifts and strengths, as that is what excited us about the employee in the first place.  

I did not know that my school of thought had an actual name until I read John C. Maxwell’s book, Put your Dream to the Test (Thank you Toni!!). Maxwell wrote about a concept called Law of Least Effort.  Basically, this means that our success is greatly influenced by our natural talents and strengths. At first, the concept was confusing, but then I made a list of actions that came easily to me. Here is what I found:

·         I really like training people

·         I love talking to people

·         I love explaining concepts so that a clear understanding is established

·         I enjoy interaction with others

·         I have a compassionate and empathetic nature and incorporate it in everything I do

The basic premise of my new position as a Regional Manager with my new organization would not and could not support my natural talent and strengths. I had to work harder at every aspect of the position and I found that I was changing my personality and who I was as a person to try to accommodate the personality warranted for the position and the organization.  I was simply not able to make this new personality-this new change- work for me.  

This was a blessing in disguise, because it was then that I realized my success would not be found in a partnership with this organization.  My success was in what I loved…speaking to people about leasing, marketing and management.

If you find yourself in a position where you are going to promote an employee, please take into consideration the natural talent he/she has. Ask yourself “what natural talents does this person have, and how can I enhance those talents so this person can do his/her best and achieve success?”

I have included some “real life” experience suggestions:

·         Prior to promotion, do a compare and contrast analysis of the two positions and be honest with the employee as to how their career (and life) will change.

·         Ask the promotion potential employee his/her vision of where he/she wants to wants to be within the organization. Have an open and honest conversation about the pros and cons of his/her ambitions.

·         Be ready to offer a financial alternative in case the employee decides not to take you up on your promotion offer. Often, an employee will accept a promotion (even when they do not feel confident about being able to do the job) because they need, want and deserve the increase in salary.  If they are a “star player”, reward them for it financially even if they turn down your promotion.

The overall point I am trying to make is that sometimes, success is not in position, title or prestige, but in the love of the art. In my case, the art is property management/multi-family housing, and my natural talent is getting others to understand it.

I am now living my dream.

Rate this blog entry:
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Great article and very good points made! I wish you much happiness and success!

  C Koback
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Love it! Right on par!;)

  Stephanie Graves
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thank you!!

  Caprice Stokes, MBA
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hello. This caught my eye. Make you think. We do not always need the promotion as long as we love what we do.

  Michelle D. Reed
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Great article!:)

  Tonirae Gorcie
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Thanks for posting this article!

  Renee Manes
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I found myself in a similiar situation and stepped back into a position that I was much more happy in. Every one around me thought I was doing a fantastic job at the time, but I was so unhappy as I didn't have the time to do the things I loved about my job. 6 months later and now I am soooo happy! Relieved I took happiness over money and would do it again if I needed to!

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

JThis was truly a guide 4 success u have many more talent's than u know like the gift of inspiration. I am inspired by reading this guide the reason I call it a guide. Is becaue only a beacon of light could shine with so much wisdom thank u Dee Dee lov u mush

  anjerrio kameron
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thank you, it is truly my intention to inspire and get people to think.

  Caprice Stokes, MBA

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