I was ready for the promotion. I knew I’d been working in that capacity for a good six months. I outlined my business reasons and rehearsed them so I’d be ready to present to my boss.
The review went swimmingly. Everything was perfect until the very last comment: “You need to be more strategic.”
I was 27 years old. I had all of five years of experience, and suddenly I had to be more strategic if I wanted that promotion.
What stuck with me all these years (I mean, the last three years) is no one told me what being strategic meant. My boss said it, and that was that. I don’t think she even knew what it meant, in retrospect. That’s why she couldn’t answer my questions.
As a boss, I never provide that feedback to someone without explaining what it means, providing examples and giving him or her a clear path to get there.
And trust me, this conversation comes up a lot — particularly in the PR industry. We tend to be much more tactical than strategic.
Be a strategic thinker