It is lonely at the top. That’s a fact borne out in my work with senior leaders. The higher up the organization you go, the fewer peers you have. The people giving you advice have their own agendas, not nefarious…
I have several coaching clients who have been told they need to be more “visible” in their organizations. Though clearly ridiculous, as none of them wander around in a cloak of invisibility, it’s something they need to take seriously. If you are being told you need to be more “visible”, you are probably working in a corporate culture that places a high value on corporate contributions, teamwork and commitment to a mission. Translation: it’s not enough to do your job well. Unfair as that may seem, you need to demonstrate that you are doing it well and be seen participating in high profile corporate activities.
Here’s a couple of ways to do that. Pick three areas of activity where there is corporate interest. Hint: senior people will be involved. If they are not, stay away, unless it’s something you enjoy for its own sake. Volunteer, ask or lobby to get involved. Offer to do a tedious job on a committee. Show up at receptions or events related to the activity. Show up early when the hosts are present and most people aren’t. Force yourself to talk to senior people. Ask questions about their involvement; tell them how what you do relates to this initiative; or that you’d like to get involved. Do your best, then go home.
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