“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde
There’s a new job posted in your organization – and it’s a position you’ve had your eye on for awhile.
It’s an obvious next step in your career and you feel ready to take on the next level of leadership at your organization.
But you’re not sure if anyone else besides you sees that in your future.
Self-promotion isn’t quite your style. Even thinking about talking up your accomplishments makes you fear that your head might inflate to the size of some giant beach ball.
Your closest friends and colleagues and maybe even your boss see your potential, but does anyone else?
It might be that you’ve become the best-kept secret at work.
And you’re not quite sure what to do about that.
The problem with humble
I’m writing about this topic because I’ve seen this in many of the clients I’ve worked with over the years. They typically have strong values around service, contribution, and excellence: they know they are here on earth to make a difference.
And many of them, somewhere along the line, also started to believe that even thinking about talking about themselves in a positive manner meant that they were about to turn into some type of raging egomaniac.
The problem with serving up too big a piece of humble pie is that you can start to believe what you’ve been implicitly or explicitly telling others: that your accomplishments aren’t that big of a deal, that your work isn’t that impactful, or that you don’t have that much to offer.
And if you don’t believe you have much to bring to the table, it’s harder to get others to believe that you do.
How to let people see you
- Know what you stand for. What anchors you to the work you do, or want to do? What are your values and strengths? List them, if you haven’t before, in a place where you’ll see them regularly and remind yourself.
- Acknowledge your gifts, at least initially to yourself. As a starting point, write down what you know, what you offer, what you have accomplished. Be as specific as possible. Notice where your gifts naturally line up and come from your values and strengths.
- Dare to own what you know. You can lead from any seat, not just from positions of formal authority and power, so don’t wait for others to “get it” before you show your stuff. Speak up: share what you know, especially where your strengths are.
- Don’t wait for permission. Show up. Jump in. Dare to be wrong, not to know it all, or even possibly (shudder) fail, to rise again. Write yourself your own permission slips to be present and accounted for, so everyone can get the full benefit of your gifts.
In the Comments below, let me hear from you: what helps you show up so the world gets the best of your skills and talents?
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