Be yourself, not a work impostor

June 17, 2007
Filed under: Coach's Corner — Tags: , , , , — jonimar @ 5:00 pm

Q:  My supervisor insists that to get promoted to the senior executive level I have to increase my visibility by blowing my own horn. I find that self-serving and offensive. How else can I advance?

A:  Don’t fake it to make it. Moulding yourself in order to gain a promotion is short-sighted and may have long-term consequences. Any behaviours you adopt solely to achieve a promotion will surely be expected of you once you win the position. It can also infect you with a chronic case of Impostor Syndrome. The key symptom is incessant questioning of whether you rightfully deserve your new title.

Catching the attention of key decision-makers by maintaining your personal integrity is far more compelling.

Pioneers and risk-takers get noticed. Take a leadership role in projects with significant impact, that are leading-edge or resolve some long-standing pain in the organization. Leverage your strengths and abilities by taking on roles that highlight them.

Results speak volumes. It is impossible to overlook someone who continually brings measurable benefits to the table.

Know your own terms and present your viewpoint with confidence. Demonstrate executive presence by standing for what you believe in. At the same time, welcome others’ contributions by incorporating their input. Be an inspiring leader. Support and empower others’ success. They will be your greatest allies.

Focus on bringing relevant and meaningful added value to everything you do. Visibility and recognition will be a natural byproduct.

Originally printed in The Province,  June 17, 2007.


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