My manager and I have had several one on ones where she has stated and asked me if I would like to pursue a lead position, and if so, she would help me set goals and get there. After some initial thought, I did take it up to get into the lead track, and I confirmed my decision to pursue this on my recent meeting with her. However, since 2 past meetings she is not being clear as to what areas I need to improve on, what skills I should look at etc. When I ask her about it, she is extremely vague about the goals i must set to proceed in this direction, but extremely assertive about the fact that she sees me as someone already on the way. I have expressed that I know I am not great in a lot of areas of leadership etc, and would like some direction from her, but to no avail. IS she being too good, and lenient to me, or has she already made the decision that I will be promoted regardless of how I perform? I don't want to get into the position until I have proved it to her and myself that I have worked towards getting the promotion. Something is not straight here. Please advise.

  • What answers are you looking for? We don't know your manager, your profile or your company and as a result we don't know what chance you have of being promoted to a management role or what you need to do to get there. That's all information that your manager has and should be able to tell you. All I can recommend is that you go back to her with a set of clear questions that she can't dodge easily and to not allow her to avoid answering. If she's still trying to do so, your best bet is to assume that something's off and plan accordingly. (Posted in comments since I'm unclear on the question.) – Lilienthal Sep 9 '16 at 6:26

Some folks just aren't good teachers, or good at articulating what they are looking for.

It may help to go to your manager with a list of skills you think are important and ask for help prioritizing which ones to work on or if there's anything obviously missing.

You may also want to contact someone already in this role and ask if they would mentor you. Your manager isn't the only one who can give you useful feedback/guidance.


She's probably flying by the seat of her pants. As a passenger on her plane, I can see why you might feel uncomfortable if you have no idea where she is going and little confidence that she herself knows where she is going.

Some people operate on instinct.

You don't.

It is clear that she trusts you. Only after some time will you be able to determine whether her trust in you and her good disposition toward you translate into a promotion.

In the meantime, you might want to look for ways to update your resume with specific, increased responsibilities that you are taking on that might be meaningful to your next employer. And be prepared to use your listing of increased responsibilities as your argument for a well deserved in-house promotion, if it comes to that.

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