Most people I’m hired to coach are humble enough that they don’t focus on their own accomplishments, and I respect that. But as a leader it is important to support those you lead in their careers with pride and enthusiasm. The fringe benefit, of course, is that you get credit for their achievements, so embrace that kind of promotion without hesitation. Your leadership brand needs to be known, and if you are too timid about acknowledging and owning your accomplishments that could be an obstacle to career advancement.
The first sale you need to close is yourself, your leadership, and the value that you bring to the table for your organization. How can you do that without compromising your self-integrity as a genuinely humble person? That question is important, and it comes down to a keen understanding of what leadership branding is all about.
There are lots of so-called branding experts out there who regretfully overlook the internal work that must go into discovering and defining an authentic leadership brand. We’ve all met people who project a superficial, off-the-shelf brand and nobody fully buys what they’re selling because it lacks depth and credibility.
But take a hard look inside yourself to find out what your core values are, what your professional passions are, and what you want your leadership legacy to be. Do that and you’ll tap into a deeper, sustained well of convincing authenticity rooted in genuine gravitas and meaningful intention. That’s where executive presence really comes to life in a magnetic, charismatic way – and it’s where you’ll gain true confidence, energy, and eagerness to actually tout your qualifications.
I am working with a senior level Fortune 100 client. Because he is extremely humble, he says that it feels inauthentic to sell himself up the corporate ladder or to high level boards where he serves as Chairman. As I told him, you don’t have to take the entire floor to broadcast your achievements. But you do need to work in key sound bites of what your team, through your leadership, is bringing in terms of bottom-line ROI.
We should all cultivate service-oriented leadership, too, and if you approach your job as a leader in that humble but enthusiastic and fearless mood you will automatically want to celebrate the greatness of every member of your team. They need you to push their careers higher. They don’t have the access to key decision makers that you do, so if you don’t promote them you could be standing in the way of their career success. That would be a disservice to them and to your organization, which depends on you to identify, develop, and then advocate for next-generation leaders under your care and mentorship. So go out there and broadcast your success, and watch how it multiples for you and your teammates!