Your overall leadership credibility is made up of many attributes, and one of them is visibility. Stepping into the spotlight can lead to earning that promotion, a key role in a project, or a high-stakes stretch assignment.
But many high potential or emerging women leaders just aren’t visible enough. Some of the reasons I hear most often from the women I work with:
- If we keep our heads down in our work, eventually “someone” will tap us on the shoulder for that next opportunity.
- We aren’t qualified enough. We need more experience or a certification to compete for those highly visible roles.
- We aren’t associated with nor have sponsorship from influencers in the organization.
- We don’t have a visibility strategy or know what steps to take to build our visibility.
Stepping into the spotlight is a must if you’re going to grow your career or move into leadership. Debra Condren, Ph.D., one of my mentors and author of Ambition Is Not a Dirty Word, puts it this way:
“Be a contender.”
What she means by that – we have to be accountable for taking due credit for our work. We have to be visible. These tips will put you on the path to creating your visibility strategy and becoming a contender:
- Get your 15 minutes of fame. This is a tip I learned while at IBM from my former manager. She ran a sales territory of 8-10 people and once a week, each team member had a 15-minute phone call or meeting with her. The time could be used to discuss any topic, and it was invaluable – I could share my accomplishments and where I needed assistance. It also built loyalty and team camaraderie which made our team extremely successful.
- Schedule time with one visible, influential person in your organization. Stepping into the spotlight means connecting with and learning from influential people. Is there someone of influence in your organization that you’d like to spend 30 minutes with? Reach out to that person and ask – it could be as simple as a cup of coffee or lunch in your office cafeteria. One thing I’ve learned is that most people like to share their experience and expertise with others – and you’ll stand out from the crowd for making the effort.
- Capture your successes daily. Much of our willingness to be more visible comes from a place of self-confidence and self-worth. I’ve developed the habit of capturing my successes. At the end of each day, I write 3 successes in a journal. It’s amazing what we can accomplish in a day when focused on the right things. When I look back through my journal at those successes, it’s a very visible reminder of being that contender.
Ready to learn more?
Visit https://amyfranko.com for more information about custom training solutions and professional development services offered by Impact Instruction Group. Amy Franko works with emerging women leaders, teaching concepts from the international best-seller Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office to many national companies and organizations.
© 2011 Impact Instruction Group
You are welcome to reprint this article. Please include the article in its entirety along with the bio and copyright.