The conventional way of getting promoted or moving into a new role is to look at the capabilities required, assess how you match up and then undertake some development to fill the gaps. I want to challenge that approach and tell you that you are missing a trick – you'll stand a far greater chance of success if you take a more holistic approach and in particular work on your identity.
Why is this important? Because you can never be something you don’t believe you are or could be. Can you really picture yourself as an HR director? Try it now. What thoughts and feelings come up? Do you feel comfortable with that image, or is something holding you back? If in your heart of hearts you don’t see yourself as an HR director, you never will be one, no matter how much you develop your capabilities. The good news is you can work to change your identity and self-image, just as you can work on your capabilities.