You have been employed for some time now and your boss likes her job? Are you punctual, reliable and often praised as a “good” or “very good” employee? But for years the promotion has been with you and always others are preferred?

The requirements for employees and managers differ significantly. A good employee is far from a good manager. So if you want to be promoted, you first have to go in advance: so from tomorrow, you will no longer behave like an employee, but be an executive. So walk away from the employee’s mindset!

Reading tip: Become a leader

The Mindset of Employees

I am now involved in the selection and coaching of executives and pay great attention to the mindset of the executive. As a manager, you are not directly hired. The majority have thus worked as employees in day-to-day business over the past few years.

The consequence is that due to the small margin, some behaviors, i.e. an employee mindset, have become established. An employee mindset is characterized by typical behaviors such as:

  • You are diligent and do assigned tasks
  • You have little network in the company
  • You often point out that your manager is responsible
  • You work in your clearly defined area of competence
  • They often delve into details
  • You work at Nine To Five and corporate events are hardly relevant
  • You solve all problems only by yourself
  • You work 8 hours per day on tasks assigned to you

These behaviors may sound almost negative, but they are not. They show the solid and good employee, who reliably performs tasks.

Reading tip: Become a senior

The Mindset of Executives

As already mentioned, the requirements for managers are completely different. You quickly realize that you can no longer do everything on your own in the tour and details are also losing importance. An executive is thus a major distinguishable manager from a good employee. The mindset of executives has typical behaviors such as:

  • You accept challenges, even if you are outside your competence
  • You always think solution-oriented
  • You distribute tasks so that you have time for leadership again
  • They do not delve into details, but see the big picture
  • You invest a lot of time in your networks to other managers
  • They motivate their environment
  • You are constantly planning we can expand your team
  • They act on an equal footing with appreciation
  • They always remain calm

You can’t usually be transported by your direct boss

Now there is another difficulty: usually you can’t transport your direct boss, but your boss.

Your task is therefore: Try to establish contact with the upper management floors. You can achieve this by actively addressing or by paying attention to projects with management.

Contact building takes time

It is no secret that the management in the company is often a separate and self-contained circle despite all the agility. There is a simple rule from the animal kingdom that you should apply to such closed circles:

If you approach a strange cat, it is afraid of you. She sees you as a possible threat. So sit on the floor for a while and wait 3-5 minutes. You will notice that the cat is slowly getting used to your presence and is coming up. This tip is also given in flirting and sales seminars:

Stand at the customer’s table and address the customer directly after 3-5 minutes

Establish contact with senior management!

So if you are in senior management, follow this rule. It is best to do the following:

  • Join the managers at the Christmas party
  • Try to get into important meetings with the managers
  • Try to meet the managers in places like the coffee kitchen etc.

Important rule for the beginning: Say as little as possible to show that you are not a threat. Show you through loyal sentences that you can rely on you.

Tip:So just stay silent 3-5 meetings (few sentences) and show the environment that you’re not a threat. You will notice that after some time you will be talking to the managers.

If you become quite slow and naturally part of the senior management and someone trusts you there, then it is only a matter of time before you get a permanent seat there.


When it comes to promotion to management, other skills are important than in a professional career. So you need to have strong networks, manage corporate policy, land good projects, recognize intrigue and forge alliances, and constantly manage and expand your area like an entrepreneur.

You are often praised with the employee’s mindset and you are partly the boss’s favorite because you are reliable. That’s great and certainly a first-guessed state. However, if you want to ascend, then this hardly brings you any further, because in the eyes of the top managers you do not exist or are only a very good but hardly known employee for you.

Image source: Shop photo created by freepik –

Genderhinweis: Ich habe zur leichteren Lesbarkeit die männliche Form verwendet. Sofern keine explizite Unterscheidung getroffen wird, sind daher stets sowohl Frauen, Diverse als auch Männer sowie Menschen jeder Herkunft und Nation gemeint. Lesen Sie mehr dazu.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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