Category Archives: Rising Talent Strategies

Boost Your Brand Image

Rising Talent Strategies – Boost Your Brand Image

In this series, we’ve been discussing the importance of self promotion at work and strategies you can use to boost your brand image. Get past the uncomfortable pit in your stomach or awkwardness when you begin to speak up about yourself.  You love being the center of attention in your social network.  So, put the “selfie” concept ‘to’ work ’at’ work.  Here are more best practices from my personal experience and network of successful professionals who were eager to share their advice.  Thanks, again, to those of you who shared your ideas!

If you missed the first two posts in this series, you can check them out here: The Art of Self Promotion Part 1 and The Art of Self Promotion Part 2.

Boost Your Brand Image – Raise Your Hand And Get Involved  

Do you sometimes get comfortable staying to yourself? Or, maybe you feel like you have so much work to do, you don’t have time to do anything else. Keep this up, and you may have more time to yourself than you want. Getting involved is not optional. It’s essential.  That doesn’t mean you have to be involved in everything.  You can’t risk executing on your day-to-day accountabilities. Find ways to engage with others across the organization in your daily activities.  Be strategically selective.  The benefits far outweigh the extra effort.

Sheila I. with Brown-Forman Corporation shares this advice:

After working at MSD where we were actually encouraged to take a look at branding ourselves, I learned that getting involved helped others see my leadership qualities and abilities outside of the actual job that I had.  Coming to Brown-Forman you learned early that the company was about relationships and branding yourself.  My manager encouraged openness and stretching yourself. I quickly became involved in the company, which again allowed others to see the skills that I possessed outside of my position that I was hired to do. In essence “The Art of Self Promotion” is getting involved.” 

Sheila I., Brown-Forman Corp.

“I have been working to form cross-functional teams for exposure in other areas.  I also do benchmarking and share lessons learned with teams at other facilities.  I can raise my hand to lead teams and even create my own lean kaizen events.”  

Cynthia L.,

UTC Building & Industrial Systems

Be the Presenter

One of the greatest fears among people is the fear of public speaking.  Are you the person who feels their knees knocking and teeth chattering when you stand in front of a group?  Overcome the fear by gaining more knowledge, practice and experience.  Join a Toastmasters group.  Practice at home in front of the mirror.  Get a trusted colleague to help you practice and give you feedback.  Presenting provides similar benefits to getting involved – others are able to observe you in often a different context.  If you are well prepared and come across confidently, you can gain a level of respect as a subject matter expert or a leader.  Presenting can come in the form ofreviewing a report, giving a project or team update, or sharing a new idea.  You may present standing or sitting. You may present to a small or larger group. All of these situations count.

“I also take advantage of opportunities to present often in front of my manager and others.”

Cynthia L.,

UTC Building & Industrial Systems

“I use a PowerPoint presentation that is in the form of a Pecha Kucha.  It is a set of 20 slides that change themselves every 20 seconds.   It’s very effective.  It can be used to introduce a new idea or promote yourself and your services, or any topic that you want to share with others.  The nice thing about it is that the audience doesn’t really have a chance to get bored.

If you’re not familiar with it, here is a link to a website.  http://www.pechakucha.org/

Beth W.

Humana Inc.

“I’m going to refer you to some points I got from a session I sat in yesterday at the Idea Festival.  From Joe McCormack, author of “Brief.

Here is what he had to say about sharing a message and promoting ideas (whatever thetopic):

  1. Lead with the headline  (What challenge do you need to share with others?)
  2. What idea do you have to address the challenge? (in other words, why are you bringing the challenge up in the first place)
  3. Explain how your idea (or what you have to offer) works
  4. Address any essential question that may remain about the product, service, self
  5. Stop talking

Joe’s point is that when you want to promote something in this vastly saturated market where people are tired of hearing “just one more thing,” the way to stand out is to be brief — not to the point of not really saying anything, but by honing in on your key points and trimming away excess.”

Chandra I.

Irvin, Goforth & Irvin, LLC

 

Boost Your Brand Image By Focusing On Execution – Your “What” & “How”

We tend to think of execution related to our jobs as simply coming to work every day, going to meetings, and checking off tasks on our to-do list.  But in the context of moving your career forward, think of execution as both the “what” you do and “how high” you can perform.  Leaders are looking for talent who “gives 100 percent every time,” can “always get the job done,” “plays to win,” has the “mental focus and toughness,” is “dependable,” and “knows how to hit the numbers.”  When it comes to evaluating execution, five primary high-performance standards represent the characteristics leaders look for when they promote or hire employees.

  • Problem Solver – Are you proactive in solving problems, or do you tend to point out problems and whine about them?
  • Accountable – Do you take full accountability for your areas of responsibility, good or bad?
  • Consistently Exceeds Expectations – Do you consistently go above and beyond what’s expected of you?
  • Get Things Done – Are you the go-to person who the organization can count on to get things done?
  • Customer-focused – Are you an advocate for your customers – ensuring there’s an outside-in, reality-based perspective driving priorities and decisions?

Vivian Blade

FuelForward Book – Chapter Five FuelForward Foundation: Execution

For more details on these five high-performance standards, Chapter Five pp. 50 – 55.

“More than anything, I try to allow my track record to speak for itself, working to make sure that I am a solid performer and team-player, focusing on the ethical good of the whole (organization) and not just the needs of the few or the one.  I will say that I have learned – primarily due to confidence built based on years of experience and additional training – to speak up when there is knowledge I believe would be valuable or in which I have some area of expertise.” 

Diana W.

University of Louisville

S. Harper with Humana Inc. encourages professionals to:

  • “Be accountable, consistent
  • Be able to not only ask questions but provide the answers
  • Gain as much industry knowledge as possible
  • Try to go above and beyond expectations so you’re seen as a valuable contributor
  • Gain visibility beyond peers”

 

Add these self-promotion strategies to your toolkit.  Which ones are you going to try?

Read Part 4 Of “The Art Of Self Promotion”

self-promotion toolkit

Rising Talent Strategies – Self-Promotion Toolkit

One of the biggest challenges for professionals is to identify your self-promotion toolkit.  Yet, it’s critical to career success. How do you get past the uncomfortable pit in your stomach or awkwardness when you begin to speak up about yourself?  Believe me, it’s possible to get to the point where you’re not so anxious.

How many selfies do you post on social media? You may have started out being a little shy about posting selfies.  But now, you can hardly go a day without updating your friends about what’s going on in your life.  ‘Selfie’ promotion at work achieves similar outcomes, though your approach will need to be more strategic and thoughtful.

Like your social media posts, self promotion at work is not a one time event. It’s an ongoing sharing and demonstration of your value.  Why shouldn’t others know about your value?

So, let’s get started!  You have several strategies at your disposal to effectively and professionally integrate ‘selfie’ promotion into your daily routines. I’ve assembled these best practices from my personal experience and network of successful professionals who were eager to share their advice.  Thanks to those of you who shared your ideas!

Be sure to follow all the articles in this series.  I promise you’ll have at least ten to fifteen strategies in your toolkit.

Your Professional Self-Promotion Toolkit

 Schedule 1-on-1 Meetings

Most professionals believe their boss knows all about what they’re doing since they see each other everyday.  That’s one of the biggest misperceptions getting in your way.  Set up a standing meeting with your boss every two weeks.  Prepare for the meeting by tracking your accomplishments and status of ongoing projects.  Update your boss on how you’re adding value to the business.

“I think it starts with direct managers and making sure they clearly understand everything you’re doing.  I took for granted that they knew what I was doing and found out they had no idea…..Make sure there’s a clear understanding of what you do so that person can represent you at the table.  It’s hard to promote something you don’t know about.”    Melanie S. , Neustar, Inc. (FuelForward book, pp. 106-107)

Marie R. with Anthem, Inc. uses a spreadsheet to share updates in the weekly status meetings with her boss.  She organizes the spreadsheet into two worksheets – 1) her ongoing work and progress, and 2) her accomplishments.

“I prioritize my list for review in our 1:1 (emailed to her the night before we meet) so we are sure to have time to discuss what’s ‘hot’, and the things of lesser importance, which might not get covered, won’t be quite so crucial. But – and this is where it can make tooting your own horn seem more natural – I am sure to cover ‘closed’ items first, and move through them quickly.”   Marie R., Anthem, Inc.

Share emails, notes and photos

Accolades from others are the greatest praise we can receive.  But, the messages don’t always get to the ones who need to hear them. Be proactive in sharing your value via the complimentary emails and notes you receive.

Sierra A. with GE shares her approach:  “What I usually try to do is forward my boss anything positive one of her peers has said about me. I also copy her on a response I have to someone if further down in the email the person has complimented my work.”  

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”  Share photographs of teams you’ve worked with, events you’ve helped plan, or conferences you’ve attended.  Pictures showing how others are benefiting from your work usually make an impression.

I’m a big fan of pictures from events that I’ve attended or was part of the planning committee. For example, I just concluded my 2nd year on the Salsa, Soul, Sushi and Samosas (SSSS) Board of Directors. The efforts culminate to the annual SSSS social event that celebrates cultural diversity. I’ve forwarded the BOD photo from the event to my co-workers.”  Angella W., Leadership Louisville Center

Lead Meetings

Take the lead in facilitating or presenting in various meetings. This effectively demonstrates your ability to communicate and to lead groups.  With this approach, you get to show what you can do.  You’re demonstrating a variety of skills that some people may not have the opportunity to observe from you otherwise.

“Leading meetings can be a way of ensuring others can see your value as well!“  Sierra A., GE Appliances

“I have been working to (lead or work on) cross-functional teams for exposure in other areas, …..and to present often in front of my manager and others.”  Cynthia L., UTC Building & Industrial Systems

Read Part 3 Of “The Art Of Self Promotion”