This Strategy Helped Me Jump 3 Job Levels in 3 Years — Twice

If you aren't doing this one thing, you are missing a crucial opportunity

I was teaching Influence to a group of technology industry VPs, directors, and managers last week and I heard a familiar concern voiced by several leaders in the group: I don’t want to have to promote my accomplishments or myself in order to be influential. I don’t want to brag or be viewed as a suck-up. 

They were responding to a strategy we introduce people to when we teach influence – it’s a practical tool we call the sound-bite strategy for getting your work noticed. This tool is not the core of the influence process we teach, but it is a useful add-on; simply put, it’s a formula for generating a short summary of your current projects that you can strategically share in casual settings with leaders above you.

Here’s what I’m talking about: Within the past month, have you had casual run-ins with leaders above you who’ve asked something like, “How are things going?” or “What’s happening?” And your standard response was your version of “Pretty good” or “I am really busy – there is lots going on,” and then you moved on? Or maybe your response was to rattle off everything you have on your plate.

In either case, you’re missing an opportunity. When leaders above you ask how things are going, it’s your opportunity to answer them in a meaningful way that conveys your value and updates them on key projects that matter to the business. It’s your chance to become “sticky,” as in, being more top of mind with senior leadership – and this comes in handy when building your brand, which in turn helps you increase your influence.

Here’s How It Works

Situation: You’re grabbing a snack in the kitchen and Senior Leader X (at your boss’s level or higher) is getting a drink. 

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Quit Solving Your Team’s Problems for Them

How I used 3 words to empower my team & free up my time to lead

Don’t you feel good when you solve a problem at work? Doesn’t it make you feel smart, useful, and valuable? I venture to say that many of us got to our leadership positions because we’re so good at solving problems.

But if you’re going to grow in your career and manage a highly effective team, you can’t spend your time solving all the problems. It will stop you from focusing on the strategic part of your role, and it won’t allow your employees to develop, either.

I’m Already Good at Delegating…

As leaders many of us have mastered the art of delegation when it comes to tasks and projects. But it can be much harder to delegate problem solving, especially when a direct report comes to you with a problem and specifically asks you to solve it. It is especially hard when time is precious, deadlines loom, and complications have arisen.

In those instances, it is tempting to solve the problem yourself. But guess what my advice is? Don’t do it. Do this instead…

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