How A Coke Can Get You Promoted

April 30, 2016


Have you been working in the same job for two or three years and still haven’t seen a promotion? Not sure why you haven’t been climbing the ladder like everyone else?


It’s frustrating, right? You show up to work every morning, put your head down, get your work done, and sometimes even stay late! So, why aren’t you getting the promotion you feel you deserve?


The truth is, what you’re doing is not enough. Why? Because you’re JUST doing your job. Of course I’m doing my job, you think. They’d fire me if I didn’t!


Yes, you’re right. They’d fire you if you weren’t doing your job. But they’re not going to PROMOTE you for JUST doing your job.


Here’s the thing... managers promote based on performance. The secret to getting promoted is to prove that you bring more value than you cost.


Sounds easy enough right?  


Years ago in a business class our project was to come up with a game plan to reduce costs. We were limited to any area. Any savings was a win. We have to make a business case and create an ROI. Luckily for me I'm a gadget guy and smart thermostats were just starting to take off. So I was able to show the company I was working for how much money they would save by letting the new thermostats automatically adjust themselves.


When we have a job opening and I know people from within want to get promoted, I ask myself, Are they doing a good job, or are they acting like an owner?


Let me explain. I had an old boss that gave out Coke can bonuses. It was simple but not that easy to get. He would throw a Coke can in the parking lot before anyone got to work. Then he would watch the parking lot as everyone arrived. Whoever picked up the can, got the bonus. He wanted to see who treated the parking lot like an owner, and who was just showing up to get a paycheck.


It's amazing how something so simple worked. It really did decide who got promoted and who would get laid off. You see, even though everyone knew the game, most never played. The bonus was only $100 and he only did it every now and then. So people would forget to look or maybe they just didn’t care enough. I know the $100 did not add up to much, but getting promoted 3 times sure did. He made it clear. Act like an owner! Don't treat this like a job, but like you own the company.


So why did so many people never comprehend such a simple message? Next time you see a light left on, or some other waste, or even a dirty Coke can in the parking lot... pick it up! You never know who might be watching.


If you’re tired of getting passed over for promotions, think of ways you can increase your value as an employee. Take on extra assignments. Exceed expectations. The faster you start delivering, the faster you’ll get that promotion!


Click here to see one way you can show your boss you’re acting like an owner.




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