Management Articles


Five Ways to Not Get Promoted

By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

Dr. Donald E. Wetmore is a full-time Professional Speaker having made over 2,000 presentations during the last twenty years to audiences from around the world. He is the author of "Beat the Clock" and dozens of published articles. Learn more at:

"Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go;
From 7-3 it's misery;
Hi ho, hi ho."

Time Management has a lot more to do with "investing" our time wisely rather than just "spending it". A lot of people are not getting the returns from their time that they desire because they are not investing their time effectively, keeping them from getting promoted and advancing beyond where they are, more rapidly. They view their job as just that, a "job", where they exchange their time for money rather than viewing it as a "position", a platform and a springboard to even greater success.

In my twenty years as a professional speaker, I have met many who lament that they are stuck where they are at and are not getting the advancement they desire thinking that external forces are keeping them from moving up the ladder. In some cases, this is true. In most cases, it is not. A lot of why we do not get what we want in life is because of what we are and are not doing. Time Management, you see, is not doing the "wrong" things quicker. That just gets us nowhere faster. Time Management is really about doing the "right" things.

And so, here are the five surefire ways to "not" get promoted.
  1. Don't plan your day. Go to work each day without a plan in mind. "People don't plan to fail but many fail to plan". Respond to whatever comes at you, the loudest voice demanding your attention. You will work "hard" but maybe not "smart".

  2. Do the minimum. Many have the attitude "they don't pay me for that". They do what is required of them to cover themselves and fail to recognize that in order to qualify for a raise, we have do more now than what we are already being paid to do. Like a wood burning stove, many stand at the cold stove and demand its heat without recognizing that you have to put the wood in first, start the flame, and wait a while for heat to radiate.

  3. Rely on your current base of knowledge. Half of what we know today, we did not know fifteen years ago. The amount of information has doubled in the last fifteen years and it is said to be doubling every eighteen months hereafter. The world, our companies, and our jobs are changing whether we are along for the ride or not. It has been reported that within five years, 60% of us will be doing jobs that are not even in existence today. Statistically, if we continue to do what we do, the same way, within five years, most of us will be obsolete, the world will pass us by.

  4. Voice your complaints. Every job has something to complain about. The pay, the hours, the location, the facility, your boss, your co-workers, the customers, etc. Since we can never be sure whether those around us are aware of our particular discontent, be vocal about what you don't like. It will keep you and them from doing what really needs to be done and it will send out a message to the "powers that be" that maybe, just maybe, you won't be here in a few months, so why should they give you any more money or any more responsibility? And you may not mean anything by the complaining but it does have a tendency to send out a negative message about your commitment to the organization and call into question whether or not you will be here in a few months.

  5. Don't share the credit. When something goes right, put your name on the top of the list of those who made it happen. Don't acknowledge others' contributions. If something doesn't work out well, point the finger to someone else. "Victory has a thousand fathers. Failure is an orphan".

© Copyright 1999 Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

Books by Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

(You are viewing the U.S. bookstore. Click here to view the Canadian store.)

Other Articles by Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. ManagerWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. ManagerWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


Place "+" (without the quotes) in front of words that must appear; "-" to exclude articles with certain words; and put double quotes around phrases. For example, fantastic search will find all case studies with either the word "fantastic" or "search" (or both). On the other hand, +fantastic +search will find only case studies with the words "fantastic" and "search". "fantastic search" will find only case studies that with the phrase "fantastic search". Note: Searches will not find words, such as 'management', that appear in more than half of the articles or words less than five letters long.


Would you like us to consider your own articles for publication? Please review our submission and editorial guidelines by clicking here.

Close boxYou might also be interested in: