Self Promotion

I used to be a wallflower .... what about you?

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I used to be a wallflower.

Always shy and retiring, never saying boo to a goose or putting a foot out of place.

I was worried I’d be wrong, that people wouldn’t like me and that I’d get found out.

This left me constantly waiting - watching from the sidelines while other people’s careers overtook mine at what appeared to be warp speed! 

Then something happened. I worked with a coach and worked out I needed to eliminate the following:

  • the need to do everything

  • the need to be liked

  • the need to be perfect

  • the need to know everything

  • the need be right, and

  • the need be in control

When I let go of neediness, articulating my perspective, sharing my ideas or self-promoting became far easier.

I know I’m not alone. 
Every day I speak with busy executives who share a similar story and are nervous of standing out.

"What if deep down I'm actually not good enough?"
"What of someone calls me out?"

But when you are blending into the background, your pathway to leadership is always going to be a tough gig. A the longer you play second fiddle,  the bigger your fears will become.

Remember - you cannot sell a secret.  And it's important you are seen, heard and valued.

So let go of the above needs, then spend time to work out

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
— Dr Seuss
  1. What are you interested in? Find your passion

  2. Why are you doing this? Find your purpose

  3. Where will you get best ROI? Find a platform or medium that works for you

Then self promotion becomes a doddle.

And you'll be replacing wallflower with world class in a jiffy!


Your thoughts? What stops you self promoting?  Drop me a note. I'm always keen to hear your perspective. 

PS you might have noticed I've had a photoshoot done. This one features "the bees knees" and other fun ways of reminding yourself that you're actually doing okay. Looking forward to sharing more with you in coming months.

#selfpromotionmatters #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #womenofimpact


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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Seven Incredibly Expensive Self Promotion Excuses Typical for Executive Women

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You are the story teller of your own life, and you can create your own legend, or not
— Isabel Allende

If you do a Google search for how to self promote without sounding like you're bragging you'll get 2.5 MI+L hits. It's a big concern for both men and women with societal and cultural norms and biases forming part of this minefield.

It can be even tougher for women when it comes to self promotion, as you know. We're damned when we do, yet doomed when we don't. We want a career that really counts. We want to feel as though we are seen, heard AND valued, but it can sometimes feel like balancing on a knife edge. 

Sometimes we even wonder why we bother.

Yet when we don't self promote we miss out on plum assignments, juicy salary increases or bonuses in line with our male peers and equally importantly, we miss out on being perceived as a serious C-suite contender.   

Remember, our society confuses confidence with competence, and self promotion with confidence will help you not only get ahead, but be perceived as better at your role as well.

Over the years I’ve heard lots of reasons why people don’t self promote and I believe the following seven excuses will cost you  $10's of $1000's in salary over the course of your career.

  1. I just need to do great work - Remember the famous “build it and they will come” line from Kevin Costner's Field of Dreams?  He had built a baseball stadium and people magically turned up from all over to attend simply because he built it. In a highly competitive job market, where we confuse confidence with competence, you simply cannot afford to assume that people will see the value or commercial application of your experience or expertise. Additionally, algorithms, short attention spans and rapidly changing technologies rule the world. It’s really hard to sell a secret, so you'll need to do far more than create a program, post something on LinkedIn, or just do great work. You also need to sell the value of the great work you do - ergo you need to self promote.

  2. My results should speak for themselves - this is the most common expression I hear from busy executives who are beginning their self promotion journey.  Nearly everyone has this inner mental script. "It's not fair. I shouldn't have to tell my boss about how well I did. They should see for themselves, because it's their job to manage me."  Success will belong to those who can speak to their own results without sounding like they're bragging. In fact, success comes more easily to those who even do sound they’re bragging, than those who don’ t speak up at all. Start practicing now.

  3. When I land a new role, I don’t need to self promote any more - another really common misconception.  The most ambitious and successful women I work with know this. They keep self promoting even when they start a new role.  In fact, even more so. They stay visible both inside and outside the business, but they change the balance towards heavier internal self promotion to help them fast track their success in the first 6 months, and lighter external self promotion to ensure people outside the organisation remember who they are.  There is nothing worse than being buried in everything new with no room to do much more than survive, only to emerge after your first 6 months and find out that people have forgotten you exist.  People are fickle, attention spans are short, and there is always someone hungrier. Stay visible people. Stay visible. 

  4. I don’t really need the credit or recognition - another really common excuse, particularly after someone has missed out on a payrise, promotion or recognition. Yes you do, because that's the currency of the organisation you work in. If you don't value yourself enough to claim credit, others won't either, and someone else may just take credit on your behalf. It’s a sign of healthy self respect to claim credit where credit is due. If you don’t respect yourself, others will also take you for granted. Once again, start practicing now.

  5. I have to do this on my own - peer promotion is a great addition to your self promotion toolkit. And it really works for women because it doesn’t trigger reactions about socialised stereotype biases. It's GREAT to have others on your side who can fly the flag for brand you, reinforce your opinion or even remind others how great you are. It’s far easier for me to say out loud that “Michelle is a Rockstar”. It’s far harder for me to say that about myself. So build out a team of peers or others who are also interested in career advancement but not competing with you. Then help them to help you by providing them with evidence of your results and examples of what you do. Ask for references on LinkedIn, ask for positive feedback about your leadership brand. Your peers or others may just help you achieve Rockstar status without you having to sweat it out.

  6. I've got great sponsors/mentors/champions so I'll be okay - I’ve written about this before and I can’t write about it enough because I see so many women who’ve hit a certain spot in their career, who have never had to self promote previously, and all of a sudden they don’t know how and it feels incredibly hard. Sponsors mentors and champions are great. Do what ever you can do ensure you have the backing of great sponsors, mentors and champions in addition to peers who support. But these people may resign, retire or are made redundant and then you are left hanging out to dry with no self promotion muscle, because you've never had to do it for yourself before.  You do need to develop your own skills (in addition to having great sponsors mentors and champions) so you can carve out your own career path. As leadership expert, Avril Henry wisely says

    "No-one is as interested in your career as you are. So do something about it!”

  7. We imagine it’s “all about me “ - in fact, the most subtly powerful self promotion is very rarely all about me. Remember the line from ABC’s Kath and Kim - "Look at moi, look at moi, look at moi"?   Unskillful self promoters, who we all try and avoid, make it all about them. Boring. And quite challenging. When we make it about the self, it’s far more likely you’ll become self conscious or worried you’ll appear self absorbed or self centred. Instead when you take the self out of self promotion and make it all about the problems you solve, the difference you make and the value you add, you'll do far better. Take it one step further and make sure that this is in service to others, and you'll be self promoting like a Rockstar within no time.

These excuses are really common. I should know. Because I say them to myself as well. And the best fix is to stay curious, keep learning and keep on self promoting until you get much better. Self promotion Rockstar status is not that far away!

Keep me posted. Let me know how you go. Drop me an email or a message via LinkedIn and share your best tactics

Need help? Curious - check out the events page for an intro session or book in for a 30 min intro call to learn more

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Develop a Possibility Mindset

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Mindset is such a critical part of self promotion and career advancement, that I include it as the first in my Seven Vital Components to Subtly Powerful Self Promotion keynote

If you think you can or you think you can’t, you will definitely be right.

Embracing a possibility mindset is the only way forward.

I challenge you to accept the POSSIBILITY that you'll be able to self promote effectively and powerfully without feeling like you are bragging, within the year.

There are four provisos:

  • Be prepared to make mistakes

  • Be prepared to feel uncomfortable (remember that's where the magic happens)

  • Be prepared to do the work

  • Be prepared to get out of your own way.

It's not just self promotion where a possibility mindset is helpful. Your entire career success may just depend upon it.

What tactics do you use to keep yourself self promoting strategically and powerfully?

#executivebranding #selfpromotionmatters #standoutcareer

Need help? Curious - check out the events page for an intro session near you or book in for a 30 min intro call to learn more

 
Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

What does Peppa the Pig have to do with a Legal Awards ceremony?

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Heaps if you are one of the #winning #women doing the #juggle as they deliver excellence in Australian legal services! 

Celebrating and recognising excellence and achievement from women in any industry is a powerful driver towards gender equity.

Absolutely chuffed to support @Gabrielle Guthrie as she was named #Finalist in the Sole Practitioner Category at the Women In Law Awards hosted by Lawyers Weekly at the Sofitel last night. So proud of her results and achievements in just two years of establishing her own practice providing accessible, specialist environment and planning law advice. Phenomenal woman. Phenomenal lawyer. Phenomenal result

The 21 acceptance speeches represented all the richness, value and #diversity that working women provide to society with many reflecting that despite the juggle they were still able to deliver substantive change or results for clients. 

One of the winners shared a vulnerable moment that her Award nomination video accidentally included the Peppa the Pig soundtrack as she juggled childcare duties, work responsibilities and a looming Award nomination deadline. Despite this (or maybe because of this!!!), she won her category (you can’t keep amazing talent down) but it was a great story that highlights the juggle that many women deal with to stay ahead of the curve. The audience loved it.

Kudos to all the 180 finalists in the room and to the 20 women who were named as #winners. 

Keep inspiring others.

Special shout out to the other finalists at my table including Lesley Symons and Harmers Workplace Lawyers

#winningwomen #womenofimpact #leadingwomeninspirechange

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months