Latest "vulnerability in leadership" Posts
A recent participant in a BRODY training program contacted me last week via e-mail.
“I’ve been put in charge of a large project and was told to choose my own team from any departments in the organization,” she wrote. “If successful, it will be the beginning of a whole new direction for our company. I’m very excited.”
She went on to tell me that as she was still fairly new to the company, she didn’t have a title that afforded her any genuine authority. In fact, some of the colleagues she wanted for her team were far more senior than her.
The participant then asked, “Why would these new team members listen to someone without any authority over them? Won’t they resent me?”
This is a classic work dilemma.
In a competitive business arena, a large part of successful networking, successful relationship building, and successful sales presentations comes down to something you might not expect.
Yes, you need to know your stuff. Yes, you need to be professional, well-groomed, and well-spoken. But there are hordes of your competitors out there who are all of those things.
Getting the edge on them has a prerequisite: being remembered.
How do you make yourself memorable? How do you make yourself stand out above the crowd?
How do you ensure that you and your presentations are the ones that stick (favorably, of course) in your prospective clients minds?
How do you ensure that others want to build a relationship with you?
Here are 6 Tips to Be Memorable
I came across a great article in the June 2013 issue of T + D Magazine titled, “Ten Career Tanking Phrases to Avoid Using in the Workplace,” which is not available online to non-subscribers.
It reiterated many of the business blunders I’ve shared in this blog, starting with this oldie but NEVER goodie: “I can’t do that.”
Whether you are a customer service/sales rep responding to a customer’s request or complaint, or you hold any other type of job, this uncooperative-sounding phrase is a non-starter guaranteed to immediately aggravate the person you’re speaking to.
Basically, this is the same as saying, “no” but with the word “can’t” thrown in for good measure — making it sound like the situation is completely out of your hands. It comes across as a sneaky way of passing the buck.
I’ve been talking about influencing without authority in the last couple of posts. We also discussed it in the last BRODY monthly newsletter. My “mini book” on this topic will soon be published, too — People, Projects & Progress: Influence Without Authority.
Obviously, it’s an increasingly important topic in our rapidly changing business environment.
Three of the building blocks of effective influencing are competence, clarity and relationships.
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
It goes without saying that to influence others, competence in the ordinary sense of the word isn’t enough. If the most your peers can say about you is, “Yeah, he’s competent,” you will not wield a lot of influence. You need to strive for excellence and expertise. And, in addition to being an expert in your field, you need to know your strengths and your weaknesses.
I’m still thinking about the amazing achievements of the women on this year’s annual Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women list.
The ways that women can effect change in this world are many and growing, ranging from the time-honored tradition of raising happy, healthy and productive children, to running international corporations and even entire nations … or any combination of these!
It would be fascinating to read in-depth interviews for all of these women, or do a study to see if we could come up with some common denominators for their success. I’m sure that luck, talent, being in the right place at the right time, and in the case of the entertainers and the one super-model on the list — looks — are all factors. But perhaps these things are a much smaller factor than you might think.