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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Avoid These 2 Mistakes When Frustrated at Work

I was at a conference earlier this month and overheard an up-and-coming engineer complaining about his recent transfer to a new boss to a few company friends. He probably had good reason to feel frustrated: A recent department re-org had him now reporting to a former peer, and by his account that former peer wasn’t qualified to be his superior.

frustrated at work

But in complaining, he was making 2 mistakes simultaneously. First, he was in a public forum, not knowing who was within earshot who might know (and then report back to) his boss. Second, his audience was a cohort of friends from his current company. 

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Yes, Your Colleague Really IS Sabotaging Your Career

No one likes to think that coworkers, colleagues or anyone else at work is undermining the careers of others.

career sabotage

We’d prefer to believe that we’re all in it for the good of everyone. Most of us are. But whether they intend to or not, there are those at work who can hurt your career.

Anytime someone’s words or actions at work cause you to fall out of favor with those who make decisions about your future, your career is being undermined. Anytime a colleague or a leader overshadows your accomplishments, your career is being undermined.

These individuals may not be setting out to sabotage you intentionally, but they do not have your best interests at heart and their actions are hurting you.

4 Types of Saboteurs Who Might be Right Under Your Nose

Do any of these look familiar?

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What if Your Boss Takes Credit for Your Ideas?

If you discover that your direct manager is taking full credit for the ideas that you’re generating or the results you’re producing, what should you do? There is no simple fix when this happens, but there are things you can do to make sure your ideas and your value are known.

When Your Boss Steals Your Ideas

Which Scenario Do You Recognize?

There are several reasons managers don’t pass along credit for your work or ideas. Here are 6 types of situations and what you might do in each. There is no one solution — you may need to try more than one approach.

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When Someone You Work With Steals Your Ideas

You’re a quiet but outstanding performer. The person you work with is neither. Yet this person is on the rise. How is that happening? Because they know how to get people on their side, often at someone else’s expense (yours?).

When Someone at Work Steals Your Ideas

“Smooth talkers” are adept at finding situations where they can shine. They know how to use the right words at the right time to get the right people on board with them. They take your ideas and those of a few select others, use them as their own, and in doing so, parlay their way to stardom.

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How to Position Yourself and Your Personal Brand at Work

The first step in mastering your personal brand identity at work is knowing and declaring your value. Once you’ve solidified your brand, how you position that brand is crucial in making sure it gets you the notice you want.

How to position your personal brand at work

If leaders above you don’t know what you’re working on or are unaware of the results you produce through your projects and initiatives, recognition for your work will likely be attributed to someone else. Here’s how to make sure that you’re the one who’s recognized.

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Are You Being Overlooked at Work? Here’s What to Do

One of the best ways to make sure you’re not overlooked at work is to actively manage your personal brand.

manage your personal brand

Before brand became a buzzword and spread beyond product marketing to people, people were concerned with their reputation. These days brand includes reputation, but it’s more expansive than that. It’s the overall impression — the mental picture – that’s conjured when people hear or speak your name. It’s a collection of your personal characteristics, presence, and results that represent you to the world.

Master Your Brand 

The challenge is to be the master of your own personal brand identity. That means that instead of letting others define your brand for you, you pinpoint the elements of your brand that you want to have stand out and those you want to tone down, and put the control for designing your brand in your hands, where it belongs.

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A Simple Way to Increase Your Visibility at Work

Leaders from VP-level on down have told me in executive coaching sessions and leadership programs how much they dislike having to market their accomplishments at work and wish that their outstanding results could speak for themselves.

How to increase your visibility at work

You may feel similarly. If so, you could be overlooking an everyday opportunity for getting your work known. If you want to be sure that the outstanding work that you’re leading gets cast in the right light to the right people, read on.

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Body Language: 5 Ways to Look Confident When Presenting or Leading

We’re always communicating on two levels, the physical and the verbal. And while what we say is important, the language of the body has far greater impact. At no other time is this more crucial than when you’re leading or presenting.

Body language for interviews and presentations

The problem? We’re generally unaware of the messages we’re sending.

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New Position. New Power. Take It or Lose It.

Are you using all of the power that comes with the position you hold? In order to succeed in your new position, you must use the power that comes along with it, and right away. Otherwise, the power you have becomes the power that you “had.”

How to succeed in your new job

Positional Power Guarantees You Nothing

Every position comes with a certain amount of power, but it’s only yours if you use it. That’s where a lot of people fail. They approach the new role as though it’s business as usual. That’s a fatal mistake for anyone on the rise. You’ve reached a new level and you need to adjust to it quickly. You’ve got about 100 days, or just about 3 months, to show that you’ve got what it takes to lead. But how do you take your power?

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