(By Glenn Llopis)
“Employees need to have better balance between the head and the heart. It’s not just about your ability to be a potent pioneer and/or disruptor to get noticed. You must be more mindful of how to use these unique qualities to lift and lead those around you so they can better themselves and find ways to enable their full potential. Stop trying to be the only star of the show and show others how they too can be the main attraction.“
Advancing your career in today’s new workplace means embracing an approach that is less about you and more about others. This may seem too idealistic at a time when most people are operating in survival mode and doing just the opposite – thinking less about others and more about themselves. Employees want to get noticed and take control of their careers. In a workplace that requires you to do much more with fewer resources, employees are having trouble earning the respect they seek and deserve. They are growing tired of corporate lip service and want their supervisors to start recognizing the merit of their work and overall contributions.
Getting noticed at work has been a topic that has been debated for years. Many believe that self-promotion gives you a leg-up while others are convinced that getting discovered is a more organic process. Self-promotion may allow you to get a seat at the table faster, but the odds of sustainable career advancement are much lower today than in the past. Why? People that have to sell themselves too aggressively are often times unprepared when the opportunity presents itself. They are impatient and seek to cut corners. They lack the real confidence it requires to consistently be significant; therefore they spend too much time putting on a facade. Besides, it’s difficult to trust the intentions of those employees that are focused more on themselves than others. This is one of many reasons why so many senior executives find it difficult to sponsor employees.
Getting noticed requires leadership with wide-angle vision to connect the dots and create maximum workplace impact. It requires teamwork in the new workplace that unites, empowers and inspires others for the betterment of a healthier whole. It’s about having each other’s backs and everyone’s best interests at heart.
Employees need to have better balance between the head and the heart. It’s not just about your ability to be a potent pioneer and/or disruptor to get noticed. You must be more mindful of how to use these unique qualities to lift and lead those around you so they can better themselves and find ways to enable their full potential. Stop trying to be the only star of the show and show others how they too can be the main attraction.
The great difference between the recognized man and the respected man is the difference of the head and heart. The recognized man appeals to the head where things are easily forgotten. The respected man captivates the heart. And the heart does not forget.
Collaborative leadership is in demand. You can never be successful alone. Someone else or a group of people had to support you and help enable the opportunities you were trying to create.
Success comes most to those who are surrounded by people who want their success to continue.
As you reflect upon your career goals and how to be a more effective leader, here are six ways to immediately get noticed at work without self-promotion.
1. Be a Silent Influencer
The workplace is divided into two primary groups: the loud disorganized/disenfranchised and the silent influencers. Notice how the silent influencers are the ones that people are most curious about. They are the ones that are invited to be a part of the most important projects and rarely participate in group activities were the loud disorganized people are involved.
The silent influencer has nothing in common with the recognition addict. They are the ones that possess quiet confidence yet speak up often enough to make their voices heard and have tremendous impact while doing it. The silent influencer has the executive presence that most employees long for. They are quick to see and seize opportunity, yet don’t flaunt their success as they move onto the next one.
Being a silent influencer is a great way to get noticed. You keep people wondering what you’re up to and curious about getting into your circle. When you are a silent influencer, you don’t allow the noise to disrupt your momentum.
2. Do More Than Your Job Description
Always look around, beyond and beneath the opportunities that you seek. Those that get noticed at work are those who approach each day with wide-angle vision. They see through a lens that extends well beyond their job description. Employees that know how to get noticed quickly have mastered the ability to maximize the value of their workplace dot and are continuously looking for ways to expand their sphere of influence throughout the organization.
The most effective way to expand your sphere of influence is by becoming proficient at helping others do their job. This will require you to know their job description and core responsibilities.
Expanding your influence is about not only doing your job, but helping everyone else do theirs.
3. Help Your Colleagues Succeed
One of the most powerful and rarely discussed success factors to employ in your career is the ability to share the momentum that you are building with others. Helping your colleagues succeed is a sign of self-confidence, self-trust, teamwork and collaborative leadership.
My career success has been a direct result of helping others become successful. I’ve learned throughout my career that the more opportunities you create for others, the more the door will open for you. This is why networking and knowing how to align yourself with the right people is so critically important throughout your career.
When the organization you serve witnesses your genuine desire to help your colleagues succeed, you will immediately get noticed. I am not referring to only mentoring someone – but having a strong working relationship with colleagues where you are constantly guiding them and providing them the hands-on wisdom to help them see their successes all the way through to the end. You can further accelerate your ability to get noticed when the person or people you are helping are not within your department and/or functional area.
It’s also important to note that while your intentions to help others succeed is genuine and true – equally be passionate about learning from those whom you are helping. People want to know that your intentions are to build mutually rewarding relationships where everyone wins.
4. Don’t Get Caught Up In the Political
Being in the know is more about staying focused on your ability to generate results while creating impact and influence in your work – rather than getting caught-up in the political weeds at work. Stay away from the politics and keep yourself and your colleagues focused on growth, innovation and opportunity. Too many employees that want to get noticed believe that getting involved in corporate politics will give them a leg-up. It doesn’t hurt to be aware of the political weeds and those who seem to be the ones that are harvesting trouble – so that you don’t get trapped in the weeds or by the people watering them.
Stay far away from the underground conversations because you never know when you may get associated with the negative dynamics (even if you are not involved). If you don’t, you run the risk of creating a negative image for yourself that may steer you away from the influencers and thus you will find your career in a continuous holding pattern.
5. Constructive Conflict
Playing it too safe at work will make it more difficult to get noticed. If you are looking to advance in your career and develop as a leader, it is imperative that you continuously test your ideas and ideals. You need to know how your talents best fit within the organization. It’s healthy to challenge the old ways of doing things – with the intention of making things better, creating new ways of generating results and improving everyone’s performance.
Constructive conflict is being mindful enough to challenge the status quo respectfully and to do it in a manner that assures your colleagues and the organization don’t grow complacent. Many times a workplace culture becomes too self-satisfied – especially when the company is making money. Regardless of the environment, constructive conflict allows you to get noticed because you are being courageous enough to “shake things up” and test new ways of helping the organization grow and compete.
6. Be Yourself
This is the most important way to get noticed immediately – yet the one that most people still haven’t quite figured out. When you can be your most authentic self, you are able to deliver your full potential at work each and every day. It allows you to do steps 1-5 seamlessly and have fun at work again. When you are having fun, you give permission for others to have fun too. Your energy becomes contagious; your leadership and work ethic become valued and respected.
You don’t need to self-promote to get noticed. It’s unnecessary to accelerate the advancement of your career. The trick is to know how you best fit within the organization and to trust yourself enough to go for it! You don’t need to be perfect – you just need to be really good consistently. Once you have figured out how to navigate the changing terrain, you will be on your way. Pace yourself, observe, learn, deliver results and make sure that the organization keeps winning. You will rise and get noticed immediately.