It’s Not Personal, It’s Strictly Business…

“It was all personal to me.” – Bryan Mills

Police Promotion can be a brutal process. Grit, aka a growth mindset is required to succeed. The short-term sting of disappointment that accompanies failure in a promotion selection process can feel very personal indeed. After all, your force has just rejected you.Police promotion is just business

The Sting of Disappointment

Cue disbelief. Frustration. Anger. There must be a mistake. Something or someone must be to blame, surely? After all, you are good at your job. The go-to person. You volunteer for acting duties and development projects involving additional work or responsibility. You go the extra mile. Everyone knows this. Don’t they? It’s why you were supported and recommended for promotion in the first place, isn’t it? The smart money amongst your colleagues was on you.

And when you see who did get through the process, it doesn’t help. That can smart a bit too! “Who? No way? Surely not?”

It’s hard to keep emotions out of it. Because it’s personal.

The Godfather Approach

On the other side of the table, there’s a different perspective.

“It’s not personal Sonny, it’s strictly business.” – Michael Corleone

When you walk into the room, you represent a risk. You could be a wise guy. ‘The Organisation’ needs to protect itself, so the bosses want to ask a few questions first.

“On trial for your life” is how some officers describe a promotion interview. If you are unable to convince them that you can do ‘the job’ they have lined up for you; then it’s the ‘Godfather’ approach: whilst the impact of their decision is personal to you, it’s just business.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse…

“People rarely travel far enough along the path of development to realise their full potential.” – Sir Tom Whitmore

Police promotion feels personal

The reality for many cops today is that they are busier than ever yet they still fall into two groups. Those who prepare thoroughly for promotion opportunities and those who don’t.

Whilst that might be for different reasons, the best strategy for success is a simple one. Prepare ahead. It’s not easy. It’s hard. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Not everyone can dedicate three, six or nine months. When a promotion selection process is announced, many simply react.

Mild panic can sometimes kick in when it dawns that the work required and the process deadlines do not correlate. Some recognise its not simply hard work that is required; it’s about smart work too and they make the important decision to seek support.

“Nothing in policing has taught me about police promotion interviews; I would have gone into my board without knowing these things.” Jon – Passed Sergeant Board First Time

Meaningful support is one option to help improve the odds in your favour so that when the bosses make their decision, it’ll be an offer you can’t refuse



Kind Regards, Steve

Wherever you are on your promotion journey, can help with guidance and support.