He: I did not get promotion again; it's been four years
Me: What do you think happened?
He: You remember the medical sabbatical I had to take last year for six months?
Me: Yes, challenging, but you managed it well.
He: I think that impacted the business, and I am being blamed for it. Everyone is carrying that baggage.
Me: Tell me three of your most impactful contributions in the last two years. Things that made you the best contender for promotion.
Me: So you were expecting promotions because you have been here for a while?
He: It's not that.
Me: So, what is it? What did you do to earn it?
He: I did my job well
Me: That's it?
He: But this hurts.
Me: So do something about it. Let me ask again, what and who do you think contributed the most to your not getting promoted? He: It's me, I guess— it is I who is using sabbatical as an excuse and fallback. I never gave my best. I got comfortable.
Me: So, what next?
He: I will work on a plan and turn this around for myself. I hope I get results.
Me: Focus on the right inputs and give your best. Focus on thing within your circle of influence.
Else be prepared to have zero answers again when someone asks, tell me three of your most impactful contributions.