If you’re all about self leadership, or you’re a leader at work (or both!) it’s fun and powerful to chose a word to describe your theme for the year.
Do you have a word for 2017?
One word helps focus your attention and serves as a touchstone to get you back on track when life and work get crazy.
My word for this year is UPWARD.
I chose that word because I’m doing some planning and implementation this year in my biz, and using a new priority management approach to make it all happen.
“It’s not what you know. It’s not who you know. It’s who knows you.”
~ A Wise Person
“Sponsorship is about the fast track. It’s about who gets promoted.”
~ Sylvia Ann Hewlett
Author of “(Forget a Mentor) Find a Sponsor The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career”
As a leadership trainer and consultant, I’m often asked how to develop the next generation of leaders.
Bottom Line Up Front
People companies want to promote need more than mentors. They need sponsors and a transparent, simple path for getting them.
The Surprising Reason Women Aren’t Promoted More Often
Women tend to believe that hard work alone is enough to get promoted. Think about that for a moment. If hard work alone were enough to elevate women through the ranks, the Fortune 500 would have more than 4.2% of CEOs as women.
And you’d have had more women bosses.
The “Hidden Brain Drain Task Force” determined the role and impact of sponsorship and why more women don’t make better use of it.
Bet you’re better at building relationships than you give yourself credit for.
The key is to recognize in yourself the behaviors that people find naturally attractive and to be willing to build these likable qualities, and bring them out more often.
How many of these qualities do you have, and which could you cultivate even more?
1. You (wisely) mirror and match. To the extent that it makes sense, you mirror the other person’s body language and match her vocal quality.
This is important for two reasons. Reason #1: We like people we perceive to be like us, and when you mirror and match others, they feel you’re a kindred spirit.
You’re probably really good at your job. But, do you come across as too perfect?
You know how important your personal relationships are. And of course, your work relationships are important, too.
Since I deliver lots of seminars and keynotes on communication and leadership, I’m often asked how to be more approachable at work. Savvy leaders know to influence people, they must feel comfortable with you.
Bottom line: Meaningful relationships start with trust. When you feel you cannot trust someone, game over. No chance you’re going to listen to them or connect with them, much less let them influence you.
I’m surprised sometimes how often I hear something from clients that I believe represents a huge obstacle in their having the kinds of trusting relationships that lead to their ability to naturally bond and to ethically influence others.
You don’t need a title to be a leader. If you have the qualities that inspire others to go for self-improvement, professional and personal development, to be who they are at their best, you have the essence of leadership.
Great leaders have presence, and as you cultivate aspects of leadership, you’ll want to include the qualities of presence.
Content Upgrade with this Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFpwEVhc88Y
Content Upgrade: 5 Ways to Show Presence on YouTube
Really enjoying your work is one of life’s greatest joys.
Check out our 27-minute video “Job Love: 5 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Full Engagement.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2Hhx3ZMcJg
Meanwhile, let’s take a closer look at what you can do right now to get a deeper sense of satisfaction from your work.
- Connect your work to your BFW’s. BFW’s are your “Big Fat Why’s.” You’re smart, easy to get along with, willing to work smart and hard, you could have had your choice of jobs. Yet, you chose this one.
Remind yourself what it is about this particular job that you find so rewarding. The closer you can directly connect your work to your values, the easier it will be for you to weather the challenging times (all jobs have them) and come through with a major sense of accomplishment.
- Keep challenging yourself to keep your skills current and relevant.
The great hockey play Wayne Gretzky was asked why he was so successful. His answer, “I skate to where the puck is going.”
Demonstrate your commitment to your work by watching your industry’s trends. Anticipate the likely direction of where the wind is blowing and be agile in your willingness to keep learning and growing. (more…)