AF#1 - How To Get A Promotion (And A Better Question To Ask First)

Are you playing a short game or long?…’How to get a promotion’ is a question that requires some unpacking…

(and welcome to episode 1 of the Amazon Fall series, aka AF#1)



These tips I’ve seen and received probably hold in most corporate settings:

  • Understand the performance bar of the next level.

  • Recognize the 6 people who will need to endorse you.

  • Ask them regularly, what is the most helpful thing you can do (better yet bring ideas).

  • Over deliver.

Now take a step back.


In the long game a promotion is as an output metric – the result of excellent work, adding value.

Your best work comes from having enthusiasm, joy, curiosity, interest - input metrics.

All systems work best in the long run when optimizing for inputs.

Know Your Mission

Sometimes we grind out a short game to get to a better place (or sock away some chips).

When you’re crystal clear on your mission, paying your short game dues can feel good, productive.

When you’re aimlessly paying dues, life is hard.

What Happens After The Promotion

A promotion is not an end, it’s a beginning.

Trying to get paid as much as soon as possible for what’s directly in front of you could look very different from trying to get paid as much as possible over your life for doing what’s most exciting.

Are you playing a short game or long?

You need a really great short game, like Tiger, but the purpose of the short games are to get you to the long.

Be self-aware. Aim then fire.

They’ll Actually Come Quicker

When you aren’t chasing ‘need a promotion’ you can focus on adding value and being knowledgeable about how to add value in more complex ways commensurate with your increasing experience.

Being known as a source of value is the best investment in your personal currency.

When you find the right role at the right company it’s uncanny how aligned your goals will be.

Here’s a good test: do the promotions feel like they are located upstream or down?

You win at life when you can play the long game.

Have some thoughts? Feel free to drop a comment or hit me up:

Other Posts In The AMZN Fall Series