Personal Brand – True Story 3

November 27, 2018

Rita (name changed) is upset. It is her career.

First of all, she has been working in the organization for about 12 years now. Secondly, over the last few years, she has been consistently passed over for promotions. Furthermore, no plum projects come her way. More importantly, she is not involved in the high-profile visits of dignitaries from overseas.

Not that there is any conflict. People are ‘kind’ to her. Her manager, a Business Leader, asks her caring questions. He makes enquires about her family. During her performance appraisal, he compliments her for her hard work and diligence. However, he never refers to her future nor does he ask her about her ambition. It is always a very ‘kind’ appraisal discussion.

It was never this quiet.


Rita was a firebrand when she joined the organization. She was a strong Individual Contributor.  She knew her stuff. A few years into her role, Rita became a People Manager. She seemed to have a knack with people. However, she seemed to have become great friends with her Direct Reports. Consequently, she always espoused their cause with the ‘management’.

Rita opposed all changes that required even small adjustments from the team. For instance, she fought tooth and nail to resist a change in her team’s seating plan. The team retained the same seating location.

Her team loved her as, I suspect, they saw in her a ‘Union Leader’ who would represent her interests with the ‘management’.

As Rita notched up more such successes in conflicts between her team and the ‘management’, she would pick every possible battle. She was good with arguments and pushed her way through.

Meanwhile, one of Rita’s clients requested her support in an overseas crisis situation. Rita flew down, stayed put for 3 months and handled the situation very well. The client recommended a promotion for Rita.

Consequently, Rita became a Senior Manager role on the powerful client’s recommendation. That was 6 years ago.

Rita continues to fight for her ’causes’. However, today she wonders why she is not being considered to head some of the fast-paced and dynamic Business Units within the organization. Nobody tells her why.

What do you think? Would you know?

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