Get them talking: What’s something you would change if you were running this company?  How would you make us safer, more profitable, more successful with our customers? Keep them talking: What’s something you’re looking forward to doing or being in charge of if and when you get promoted to the next level? What level of the company do you think you need to get to in order to make a real difference in how things are run? What do you think is the biggest difference between the way you and I think about this place and the way the owners think about it? Points to Consider: It’s easy to assume the bosses don’t know what they’re doing… or that you or I could do much better if we got promoted.  The truth is, there are usually lots of good, reasonable reasons why things are done the way they are!  We may not see the whole picture from where we’re standing. And at the same time, the best way to prepare for promotion is to begin thinking about what you want to do… how you want to improve the team, the operation, the layout, etc.  Show that you’re ready for promotion by thinking about the challenges you’ll face in the next job. When Alan Mulally was a VP of Engineering at Boeing he told this story:  “When I first hired on, I’d sit at my drafting table and think, ‘if only I could be the lead engineer — I’d really be able to make a difference.’  Soon I became lead engineer, and he realized that what the job I really need to be in was engineering supervisor…  and it went like that with each promotion.  No matter how high up I went on the org chart, it felt like my hands were tied.  Now, here I am, pretty near the top, and I catch myself thinking, ‘you know, if I ever get back to my drafting table, I’m going to make some real changes in how we work.”