Welcome back to another episode of Maximize your Career. I am Stacy Mayer, a coach for corporate managers who want to get promoted into upper level leadership positions. This podcast has been such a great way for me to share what’s actually working for my clients and I hope you are getting a lot out of it.
Speaking of, since we are a newer podcast it is even MORE important that you take an opportunity to write a review. Click on the stars. Even if it’s just one or two sentences, let others know what you are learning from this podcast. What you are applying and where you feel motivated to do more.
So today we are going to talk about bragging. If you are like most managers I meet, you HATE talking about yourself. You avoid talking about what’s working. You see other people get ahead and you think the reason is because they are show boaters. They are constantly talking about how great their team is, how amazing they are and they never seem to talk about what’s not working.
Now let’s take a minute to get real with yourself. You are totally judging them. You “think” they are only out for themself. And you are not at all like them.
You are a realist. You only talk about the facts. They are fake. You are not. So you start to get angry, frustrated and annoyed that they get ahead and you don’t.
I want to fist acknowledge that your pragmatism is what got you where you are today. It’s why you get such high marks on your performance reviews. It’s why the most common feedback you receive is “we can always trust you to get the job done.” Sound familiar? I bet.
So why are you still so frustrated? What is it that you WISH was happening? Instead of being called dependable, what feedback do you wish you were receiving?
Feedback that you are smart. That you have great ideas. You WISH they would pull you aside in the hallway and ask for your opinion, not just tell you to do something. Imagine, your VP calls you at 2 in the morning NOT because she needs you to do something for her but because she wants to run something by you. OH that would feel so good. That’s where you want to be. You want your opinions to matter. You want your team to matter. You want to be seen as both capable and smart.
There is a common saying in women’s leadership circles that MEN ARE JUDGED BASED ON THEIR POTENTIAL; WOMEN ARE JUDGED BASED ON THEIR PAST PERFORMANCE. And this is not just a saying, it’s also well researched. But what I like to do with this type of statistic is to study it and see how it applies to ALL managers. Especially those managers that are not being judged based on their potential, regardless of gender and figure out WHY is that happening?
Was there ever a time when you were judged based on your potential? Think about it. I can pretty much guarantee when you were in your 20s you were judged based on your potential. People love giving career advice to 20 year olds. You know, I think you’d be a great engineer. Have you ever thought about that? Sure why not? I’ll give it a try.
Or what about when you first became a manager? Did someone pick you out of the engineering track and say, “Ooooh I think you’d make a really great manager.” And you said, “Sure why not?” It seems like the next logical step.
But what is happening now. Nobody is offering you advice anymore based on your potential. They are offering you advice based on your limitations. Let me say that again. People are offering you advice based on your limitations. You MUST know that this is where it is coming from or you will never be able to do anything about it. You will always feel frustrated. You will always feel stuck and you will never ever feel like your opinions matter.
They are saying things like SLOW DOWN. TAKE IT EASY. DON’T WORK SO HARD.
Why is that?
#1 it’s because of their own crap. They want to slow down. They don’t want to work so hard. They want to phone in their days until retirement.
#2 It’s because they care about you. They see how tired you are from running around with your kids all day. They see how hard you work. And they know that as we get older we don’t recover as fast.
#3 They don’t know shit about what you want or need. There is a national epidemic that we are told to slow down in our 40s and I am here to break that myth.
So here is what I think...I think this THE PERFECT TIME for you to go for it in your career. You have wisdom now that you didn’t have in your 20s. You know how to make decisions. You know how to bounce back from a mistake. You know how to strive for something bigger.
And most importantly, you know how to think smarter.
We don’t have to exhaust ourselves to get to a higher level. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Playing smarter means ---- GETTING PEOPLE TO WORK FOR YOU!!! That’s really what I am going to teach you today. You are going to learn how to brag without being like that co-worker who is always bragging about how amazing he is just to get ahead. You are going to learn how to speak about your accomplishments in a way that feels natural, conversational and 100% realistic.
And just like your co-worker who always gets ahead by bragging, you are going to get a ahead too. But in a way that feels authentic and true to yourself. Sound good?
I am going to show you how to become a Walking Billboard for your Desires ...And love it.
Other people know what you want and can HELP you get there.
Imagine if your 40s could be just like your 20s???
- People telling you what you should do (in a way that actually advanced your career, not stalled it)
- People recommending you for opportunities.
- People asking you to do things THAT ACTUALLY USE YOUR BRAIN and aren’t just more work.
This is totally possible people. But we aren’t kids anymore. Nobody is walking around telling us “you know what you should do???” So we have to grow up and go out and get that for ourselves.
Here’s an example: I have a 1on1 client --- Kat. Everybody loves Kat. Seriously. She is amazing. She had been at the same company for 20 years. But was starting to feel the urge to do something more. So she reached out for coaching. As part of the coaching, I interviewed some of her stakeholders. This is how I learned that everybody ---- and I mean EVERYBODY loved her. But nobody knew exactly what she wanted to do with her career.
So of course, Kat felt lost and confused. Nobody was telling her what to do next. But after a little digging she learned that people really did want to help her succeed. So she buckled down and found a way to start sharing her goals with people. She worked harder to get people to see her ideas. She started speaking up BEFORE someone asked for her opinion.
And within JUST TWO MONTHS of working together. She was promoted to a higher level position, received a 12% pay increase AND now has the opportunity to grow in a different department.
This is how fast it can happen for you too!
So this is the process called Becoming a Walking Billboard for your desires that I created for my 1on1 clients. And I am sharing ALL of it with you today!
It’s just 3 Simple Steps
- Know what you want.
- Imagine what it would be like if you already had that position.
- Start sharing it with people.
So #1, what do you want? This is where many of you are stuck. You don’t even know what you want. So how could you possibly share it with anyone.
Spend some time here but also keep it super simple. Where do you see yourself in 3 years? Don’t be shy. What would you want if you weren’t afraid? Ask yourself, regardless of my current situation what title, what level of responsibility do I want to see myself in 3 years?
So let’s just say you want to be the Vice President of Human Resources. We can assume this a 3 year goal? I have no idea where you are at right now. But let’s say 3 years.
And by the way, here is a little trick, if you really starts implementing what I am about to teach you, you can cut that in half! So that would mean you could be in C-suite if that’s your goal in just a year and a half. Seriously --- half the time, It’s true.
So now you have this goal.
Then #2 you need to think to herself, what would I be doing differently if I were already VP of Human Resources NOW? This is the visualizing part. How would I be showing up at work? What conversations would I be having? Who would I be meeting with on a regular basis?
That’s the first place to start. It will make it easier to begin having these higher level professional development conversations now if you think about where you want to be rather than where you are right now. And my goal is to get you to a place where these conversations just feel natural. So anything you can do to make them feel easy and fun.
If you were already Vice President, you would have mentors. You would understand the strategy and direction of the organization at a higher level. You would have a daily process for decision making and implementation. You would be speaking up at meetings.
So how can you start having these conversations now? Why wait??? Seriously.
Now #3 - start sharing your message.
This is where it gets tricky for people. This is where all of a sudden very strong, outspoken “powerful” managers clam up. It makes sense. We don’t want to come off rude or self serving or boastful. All of these things are so icky. That’s not YOU.
Still I get it. It’s hard to speak up. It’s difficult to ask for what you want. But you MUST do it. And you MUST do it now. Here’s how:
You know what you want. You have spent some time thinking about how you would behave if you already had the role. And now, all you have to do to start sharing your vision with others in a way that’s not bragging or self serving and actually gets others to work for you is…
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Know who you are speaking with and exactly what they need to hear from you.
Is the person you are speaking with a mentor, sponsor or boss? Are they a peer or a member of the leadership team? Or is it a stranger or someone that you casually meet at a networking event.
Knowing who you are audience is and exactly what they need to hear from you, is exactly what is going to allow you to become a walking billboard for your desires.
So what do these different audiences need to hear? I have broken it down for you:
- Mentors, Sponsors, Your Boss.
- Your peers, the leadership team
- Strangers, people you meet at a conference or at your kids school, your uber driver. Basically anyone who asks the question: what do you do?
Now I am not naive. You could know all of this stuff I taught you today and still not do it. There are lots of potential reasons for that. Maybe you don’t REALLY see yourself as a Vice President in 3 years. Maybe you don’t believe in your abilities? Maybe you don’t believe in those around you actually start advocating on your behalf?
Where does your belief break down? Which part of this process and start there. If it’s your vision, go there first. These steps are actually in order. If you don’t know your vision you can’t tell people. If you don’t know how you would behave differently if you actually had that role, you can’t start behaving differently. But once you have those two down, I invite you to go out there and brag, brag brag. As long as you keep in mind who you are talking to and what they actually want to hear, you cannot lose.
They will get it. They will hear what you want. They will see you and trust you in that role AND THEY WILL HELP YOU GET THERE.
Finally you will begin receiving opportunities based on your potential and not your past performance. Other people will work for you and you can start making a bigger impact today!
Thank you for listening to another episode of Maximize your Career. I look forward to seeing you all next week. Bye!!!