To be visible to the senior management and executives in your organization you need to be develop and share a profile of who you are, what you have to offer and how you could fit a more senior role.
There are many ways to do this, but the most effective way is to do so from the perspective of your senior managers and executives. To gain visibility, relevance and acceptability with them it is not about what they can do for you but what you can do for them.
Seven Ways to Gain Visibility
- Have relevant business conversations – if you want to have significant influence on business decision making and get included in shaping the future you need to be actively involved in the business conversations that are being held. Don’t just sit there and listen, making mental comments to yourself. Listen, and when you speak make sure your discussion and contribution is relevant and meaningful, don’t talk for the sake of talking.
Six areas which are key when holding business discussions, and will help you focus your discussions include:
• Improving business capability
• Activities that build and maintain competitive advantage
• Things that are being done to improve business productivity
• How you are mitigating current and future risk
• How you are supporting earnings / funding and how it is tracking to industry standards, and
• Proposed investments that support business sustainability.
- Demonstrate commercial awareness and care – business leaders want people who have business acumen and understand that a business has to remain profitable to be a going concern. Demonstrating commercial awareness and understanding of this, especially how revenues and costs can be improved, is of interest and relevance to senior leaders and will help you garner their respect.
- Working effectively – to stand out you need to not only be efficient in what you do (doing things right), but you need to be effective (doing the right things). Being efficient but ineffective is akin to working well on things that don’t add value – in other words you accelerate failure and problems. Becoming irrelevant has a lot to do with finding more effective ways to do inefficient things. So become relevant by doing the right things (being effective) efficiently.
- Demonstrate reliability – being reliable is about constantly performing at the right level and being able to do so when meeting unexpected challenges. To be reliable you need to do what you have said you will do, deliver on your promise, and to do so repeatedly. Doing this produces trust – and senior leaders need to trust you before they will give you opportunities to grow and succeed.
- Be resilient – in times of accelerating change your ability to manage and adapt in tough times and lead through uncharted waters is key. You need to be able to work through problems, keep your emotions and self in control, and deal with the situations you encounter. This includes staying calm, seeking support and advice, and leading others through difficult time so they can be more resilient themselves.
- Demonstrate good judgement – you need to be self-confident (but not arrogant), in touch with reality and understand your business well. In doing this you also need to understand the context of the situation you are dealing with; if you are not sure then get input from those who can provide ideas, insight and experience. Don’t let your ego take control. Leadership is a dish best served shared!
- Demonstrate collaboration and show peer respect – collaboration is key for leaders to be both individually and collectively successful. If you place yourself above others you will, eventually, lose credibility and relevance to them. Don’t become a ‘hostage of yourself’. Demonstrate that you can work with people around you.
How well do you do in these areas? Even more important, how well do others think you do? This is probably more important as it is their perception which is what matters. Don’t forget being a leader is not just what those above you think of you, but what your peers and reports think.
To find out more how you can do this and develop a structured programme to deliver measurable growth in leadership effectiveness, and in doing so raise organizational performance and create further career opportunities for yourself, contact Andrew Cooke (MGSCC) at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Andrew on +61 (0)401 842 673.
You can also find further insights and a wealth of material on business and leadership on Andrew’s other blog – Growth & Profit Solution Blog. There are also a large number of resources at his Blue Sky GPS Website, and these can be found Blue Sky GPS Resources.