Over the last few months I’ve been helping one of my corporate coaching clients plan the next strategic step for career advancement. When we began working together, she did not know what to expect. But she was clear-eyed about her determination to elevate her leadership status and start building a more powerful and lasting leadership legacy. Today she sees many new opportunities that were either camouflaged from view before, or represented doors she was unable or not confident enough to open.
I was thrilled that after collaborating with her for several months she got the call she was hoping for and deserved. Recognizing her capabilities, her organization asked her to join a high level leadership task force, where she will be an integral company asset. If you are looking to do more and be a more dynamic leader, here are four proven ways to do that and increase your leadership value.
1) Cultivate Across-the-Grid Relationships
All leaders nurture relationships within their own sphere of expertise. But to become a more extraordinary leader with greater exposure and a higher profile, you must widen your scope. Get to know people in other departments, who have specialties that are unfamiliar to you. Reach out and create a network outside your company, and get to know the iconic leaders in your particular industry – regardless of their specialty. That broadens your vision, your insight, and your support network to make you a more well-rounded and resourceful leader.
2) Heighten Your Visibility
One way to accomplish that is to have a game plan you follow whenever you attend events like conferences, seminars, and other networking opportunities. Do your due diligence. Find out who will be there, and who the presenters and other movers and shakers are. Prioritize a list of half a dozen people you want to meet and establish a connection with, and figure out how to make that happen. You can volunteer to help organize an event or to speak at an industry conference. Contribute your particular expertise to the group, so that you stand out as a go-to resource. As I always remind my private coaching clients, what counts is not who you know, but who knows and can recognize you.Demonstrate underutilized talent and it will be obvious to senior leaders that you must be promoted ASAP! Click To Tweet
3) Expand Your Productivity
To qualify for great responsibility, you don’t just ask for it. You demonstrate it before asking. Make your team more accountable and productive. Reward calculated risks and creative, collaborative innovation. Support team members with a service attitude by giving them the tools and resources they need to excel. Actively promote their careers. Implement systems to raise performance and eliminate wasted time. Decision makers are always scouting out leaders who have already shown by example that they are capable of leading at the next level. You don’t get opportunities and then move up to fill those shoes. You wear the shoes now and they take you where you want to go. Demonstrate underutilized talent and it will be obvious to senior leaders that you must be promoted ASAP.
4) Empower Your Brand
I always tell my clients that when you build a strong leadership brand by delivering quantifiable stellar results, you get noticed. When you distinguish yourself as a skillful developer of raw talent who creates new leaders from the ranks, you get offered higher leadership status. The client I mentioned in my introduction did exactly that. She used to be unsure of herself and her goals. We clarified those, refined her brand, strengthened her vulnerabilities, and focused her like a laser. You can’t wish your way to the board room. But if you change your performance and boost your brand, the board room will wish they had you on board. That’s how you’ll get the invite and a seat at the table.
5) Keep Your Eyes Open for Opportunities
My client now works with senior leadership executives and colleagues outside of her normal realm of expertise. She and I laugh about the fact that before she got the phone call about her big chance, she had gotten lots of messages from the universe telling her to get ready. But she just didn’t know how to listen. I don’t believe in coincidences; I believe that when you wake up to the possibilities around you, those opportunities reveal themselves in ways that others cannot see. It’s starts with knowing who you are, and what exactly you want. Once you can name it and have a roadmap to follow, which is what I help my clients create, those so-called coincidental opportunities become inevitable and predictable. So do your transformational career moves, and it can happen at the speed of light if you prepare yourself for them.
Sarah’s Leadership Accelerator Insights
Ask yourself these three key questions.
- Who are the three influencers that you need to know better?
- What are 3 ways you can build more career visibility and be seen as the go-to expert?
- What coincidences are coming up for you that keep repeating themselves that might be the universe telling you it’s time to grow in a new direction?
The answers to these question can help you jumpstart your leadership brand development and fuel your upward career trajectory.