Need more signs that the economy is moving toward full recovery? Not\n\nonly are traditional indicators such as valuations in the capital\n\nmarkets and levels of hiring trending upward, the positively personal\n\nones are rising, too. We\u2019re getting more and more queries from clients\n\nwho ask, \u201cHow can I get myself more noticed?\u201d \n\nNot too long ago, some of these same folks were asking how they could\n\nlay low so they might keep their jobs. Now with the economy heating up,\n\nexecutives are on the make. People are looking to move up or out and\n\nare seeking advice for the best way to do so. How to move up is a great\n\naspiration, but it must be done carefully. Self promotion the wrong way\n\ncan be harmful to the executive\u2019s career. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nBe Seen, Be Heard, Be Careful \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe issue of self promotion is a tricky one. From childhood we are\n\ntaught to be respectful of others and not call too much attention to\n\nourselves. This is good advice for kids and adults but when it comes to\n\ngetting ahead in the world, if you do not cast a light on yourself, few\n\nothers will. \u201cStripped of nonessentials, all business activity is a\n\nsales battle,\u201d wrote business executive Robert E.M. Cowie. \u201cAnd\n\neveryone in business must be a salesman.\u201d Integral to sales is\n\npromotion and when the product is you, you must promote it. \n\n\n\nThe challenge is to do it appropriately and professionally. Here are some suggestions.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nDo your job. Most importantly you must perform well over time.\n\nYou should meet or exceed job expectations. For example, show how you\n\ncan do more with less, or be willing to take tough assignments, ones\n\nthat no one else wants. Demonstrate that you work well with others.\n\nAlso show that you can do your work on time and on budget. Most\n\ncompanies notice consistently positive performances. (Hint: If you fail\n\nto perform, forget promotion; such publicity would only reveal your\n\nlack of ability.)\n\n\n\n\n\nPlan ahead. Promoting yourself is an exercise in career\n\ndevelopment. You need to figure out where you are now and where you\n\nwant to go in the future. Your challenge is to find ways to hurdle the\n\ngap. Part of the hurdle will involve gaining new skills and training,\n\nbut it will also involve letting your supervisor know that you want to\n\nmove up.\n\n\n\n\n\nArgue the business case. The worst way to position yourself is\n\nto call attention to yourself by jumping up and down and shouting,\n\n\u201cHey, boss, look at me, aren\u2019t I doing a good job?\u201d No! Consider your\n\nadvancement a business proposition. Itemize your skills as well as your\n\naccomplishments. Position yourself as an asset who is worthy of\n\ninvestment. Think about what you bring to the enterprise and what more\n\nyou can do for the company.\n\n\n\n\n\nLook for opportunities to lead. Demonstrate initiative. Suggest\n\nideas for improvement, and if they fit the business case, be ready to\n\nimplement. That is, back up your ideas with actions. One way may be to\n\nvolunteer (that does not mean work for free) to head a project team or\n\nspearhead a new initiative. Demonstrate that you have what it takes to\n\nassemble resources and people as well as push for execution.\n\nPut yourself in the way of opportunity. Lee Trevino, a popular\n\ngolfer a generation ago, was struck by lightning a couple of times, but\n\nhe would joke that \u201conly God could hit a 1 iron,\u201d a notoriously tough\n\nclub for high handicappers to strike well. The challenge for people on\n\nthe move up is to raise their own 1 iron and hope that lightning\n\nstrikes \u2013 metaphorically speaking, of course. Your 1 iron is your\n\ntalent; lightning is opportunity. The challenge is to get onto the\n\ncourse (where the players are) and into the thunderstorm (where the\n\naction is). Find ways to introduce yourself and your work to\n\nhigher-ups. You also can do this through networking inside and outside\n\nthe organization.\n\n\n\n\n\nBe a team player. No one likes a blatant self promoter.\n\n(Especially a fellow self promoter; and let\u2019s face it, some folks at\n\nthe top are just that!) A way to soften the glow of the halo on your\n\nown head is to wrap it around others on your team. Talk about what the\n\nteam has accomplished. When people see that you are a leader who puts\n\nothers first, it says more about your character than any project you\n\nmight spearhead. (Hint: Too much deprecation, however, will cause you\n\nto undersell yourself.)\n\n\n\n\n\nShow enthusiasm. Master salesman Zig Ziglar says, \u201cEnthusiasm\n\nsells.\u201d Apply that mantra to your career. Show up for work or new\n\nassignments with a smile on your face and shine on your shoes. Clich\u00bf\nof course, but it works. People like to be around people who believe in\n\nthemselves and their work. And what\u2019s more, enthusiasm is contagious.\n\nOthers will become excited about what you do.\n\n\n\n\n\nRemain humble. A dose of humility can temper the flames of\n\noverheated self promotion. A singer once billed himself \u201cas good as\n\nJohnny Cash.\u201d Well, one night Mr. Cash himself happened to be in the\n\naudience, and was none too pleased at the singer\u2019s lack of ability.\n\nAfter the performance, Cash went backstage and confronted the singer.\n\nCash sang a few bars of his hit song \u201cFreight Train\u201d to teach the\n\nsinger how it should sound. The next night the singer\u2019s billing changed\n\nto \u201cA pupil of Johnny Cash.\u201d (Anecdote from www.thought-starters.com.) \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nPutting Yourself Forward\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nSometimes good self promotion will not work. Consider the world in\n\nwhich actors live. Most have agents. All have dossiers with clips,\n\npictures and credits. Day after day, actors audition for parts in TV\n\nshows, movies and plays for which they are not right \u2013 not because they\n\ncannot act but because their gender, body type or voice is wrong.\n\nActors are taught early on not to take rejection personally \u2013 a tough\n\nproposition when your acting is a reflection of yourself. Managers,\n\ntoo, must find ways to keep their talents in use and their skills honed\n\neven when opportunities are not readily available. \n\nThere is an element of leadership in self promotion, too. "Enlightened\n\nleadership is service, not selfishness," writes leadership\n\nauthor\/translator John Heider. If you have what it takes, step to the\n\nfront. If you believe in your capabilities, especially your ability to\n\nlead a team, then you should be doing it. You must assert yourself and\n\nfind ways to demonstrate that you have what it takes to be the leader.\n\nStand up for your work and your people, even when things go sour.\n\nAccepting consequences is essential to leadership. What\u2019s more, give\n\ncredit to the people on your team. Shining a light on others is a good\n\nway to shine a light on yourself.