Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you did not get the job? Where you did not get the promotion? Where someone else on the team got the job that you felt was a perfect match for your skills and abilities? It's never an easy situation and can at times be disappointing and frustrating. All said, it is also a time to demonstrate how you, as a leader, handle adversity or situations that do not go "your way". Persistence Pays Off: Persistence + Patience + Positive Attitude = Success! You can stop here. Simple concept yet difficult to execute. When passed over for a promotion, the initial reaction is typically negative - disappointed, frustrated, sad, upset. The reality is that it could have been a blessing in disguise. It obviously was not "meant to be". From a "glass-half-full" perspective, the best response is to maintain a positive attitude and get after the next opportunity. Hiring managers appreciate a positive attitude - and a positive response to "bad" news. They remember your response, actions and words and will consider those behaviors when considering you for the next opportunity. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence! Persistence will differentiate you from the crowd. There are plenty of people who give up or quit - or never even try again because of a perceived lack of support to move to the next level. Don't be that person. Define a vision. Outline short and long-term achievable goals to get there. Ask for feedback from your manager and organizational mentors. Show an interest in personal development and growth.
Move On: By no means would I recommend "protesting" a hiring decision, asking management to reconsider a decision, or vocally questioning a hiring decision that is said and done. Why? I would turn the question around and ask you - "What's the point?" First, the decision has been made, announced and plans are in place to fulfill the hiring decision. Your protests and questioning only serve to "validate" the hiring manager's decision to not select you for the job. Second, nobody likes a poor loser and your negative reaction could be perceived as sour milk and not collaborative / team-worthy. Finally, I always encourage individuals to seek feedback to understand decisions and why they were made. Be cautious to not over-step this privilege and damage your credibility, your career and your reputation as a strong, positive contributor. It is helpful to get feedback on what went well and what did not go well in the hiring process so that you can plan for the future. Just be prepared for feedback that may not match how you feel you did in the interview process.
Some Decisions are Made Before the Position is Posted: The talent management and succession-planning processes in many organizations dictates back-fill candidates for many organizational leader roles. At the same time, most organizational HR departments require that all open positions go through an internal or external posting process to fill a candidate pool. When considering a position, take time to do some networking and homework. Talk to those knowledgeable about the position. It is helpful to understand whether someone is "slated" for that role or if it is truly an open selection process. I have seen several examples of times where an individual truly thought they were a good candidate for a role, should be considered for the role, interviewed for the role and were not selected (yielding disappointment). It's helpful to understand the organizational dynamics at play so that you can appropriately manage personal expectations.