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Why Some Leaders Are Left Behind

Updated: May 12, 2022

For many, extensive self-reflection is needed to understand personal shortcomings and to improve leadership skills.

You put in your hours and effort day after day at work. You give your all to the company. You’re also the one that’s consistently passed over for promotion.

What are you doing wrong?

It’s a sad fact that far too often, deserving managers are passed over simply because they fail to stand out to management. They’ve done their research, ticked all the boxes for what you’d want in a leader from a personality standpoint, and yet never seem to be able to make things come together. They may be able to advance the company’s fortunes, but they’re not able to do so for their own.

What could be causing this, and what can you do to change things?

Leaders at Risk

To begin with, you need to be aware that some fields are more susceptible to being overlooked than others. In particular, if you work in a managerial role that emphasizes marketing or sales, especially for large chains, you are at an elevated risk of being overlooked compared to other managers.


For one thing, chains are, by their very nature, massive and somewhat impersonal. Even multi-national companies that make the effort to try and build a positive culture among team members still conglomerates. They can’t possibly keep track of every last manager at hundreds, perhaps thousands of locations in multiple countries.

By contrast, startups and tech and education firms have a tendency to be more aware of the personnel they have on hand due to their smaller size, more specialized nature of their work, or both.

Failing to Deliver Big

The biggest reason you might be overlooked is simply failing to deliver. How many times have we seen middling quarterbacks overlooked or outright replaced after falling short too many times?

There’s also the question of production – less isn’t more. You don’t want check downs, you want touchdowns, not 5-yard gains but 90-yard bombs – or the business equivalent thereof.

Don’t let yourself be overlooked and underrated. Make sure you stand out, get the job done, and you might just be the MVP manager of your company yet.

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