Too Good to Grow

Have you ever had a job that you were so good at you couldn’t advance beyond that position? All too often great performers get “stuck” because they’re so great at what they do, their leader doesn’t want to lose them. Instead of top performers being rewarded with a bigger position and more responsibilities, they end up getting “punished” for their great performance by not being allowed the opportunity to move up.

If you’re a top performer who feels stuck, here are four actions you can take to help you (and your leader) create an opportunity to move on:

  1. Don’t be a lone ranger. Start now by making the time to teach someone else in your area how to do your job so that your boss doesn’t have to bear the burden of finding and training your replacement. Do it on your own time. Share your job more so that you’re not always the only one doing what you do.
  2. Have a conversation with your leader. Tell them that you want to take on another role within the organization. Explain the value that your current experiences and talents can bring to a new role. However, also express that you don’t want to leave your position without grooming someone to fulfill its responsibilities. Ease your leader’s mind.
  3. Offer to serve as a mentor. Tell your leader that you will mentor and prepare a new person to fill your position so that there won’t be a significant loss. If you have someone in mind, go so far as to recommend one or two people who you think would be great to take your place. Explain how you can begin preparing and teaching that person now to fulfill your role.
  4. Make it easy on your leader. Have a proposed plan in place. Include how you would recommend the transition happen and what the new person would need to know to do the job. Put together a SOP (standard operating procedure) on your position so that it can be easily replicated.

Of course, any time a top performer leaves their current position for a new one, there will be a bit of pain in the transition. However, a moderate amount of short-term pain is worth the long-term benefits you and your leader will experience as you use your talents to a make an impact at a higher level inside your organization.


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