Leaders often tell me that they are overwhelmed and don’t have time to focus on their visibility.
However, I believe that if you take the time to slow down and be strategic with how you spend your time, you can and will accomplish more, show your value and be the leader that others aspire to be.
Everyone gets the same 24 hours each day so how do some make it work, while others struggle? How do you want to be perceived? The leader who is too busy or the leader that is strategic and has it all together? It comes down to intentions, boundaries, and focus.
What is the intention that you have for your career? Do you have a plan to reach your career goals? You need to plan to make that happen.
Take a look at your week in advance and plan out time to do what you need to accomplish. If you create more time, what would you do with it?
Slow down, be intentional to help you speed up on the right things. Review what you are saying yes to that may cause you to say no to yourself. Look for opportunities to design your week the way that you want it and prioritize your time or others will do it for you.
Do you maintain your boundaries or let others take over your time?
Imagine that you are holding time on your calendar to work on your project. Someone sends through a meeting request to meet with you at that exact time. What do you do? You don’t automatically have to say yes unless there is a major crisis. You always have the choice to say no and share alternative times that you can meet with them instead.
You don’t have a responsibility to meet everyone else’s needs and worry about what they are doing. You do have a responsibility for your time and what you need to get done.
What are you spending your time on each day? Are you focused on the high-value activities or do you come in and only do what is on your calendar that day?
Leaders can fall into the habit of being busy on low-value tasks without the awareness of it happening. Instead focus on what gets you the results, helps you gain visibility, and allows others to see your capabilities and the results that you can generate.
As you can see there is some overlap between these three areas. Observe your day and assess which one would help you the most before moving on to the next one.
Becoming More Visible in Your Comfort Zone
As I talk to leaders about how to be more visible, I notice that they choose ideas that are in their comfort zone. They haven’t had the exposure to something else or they have some fear that gets in the way. They will select ideas that will give them a little more visibility than they have now, but when I push them to think bigger, it is amazing to see what happens! My questions create thinking that generates bigger ideas. That allows them to create bigger actions and their leadership sees them in a whole new way. That is what creates a new perception.
It made me wonder, what do you do if you don’t have someone like me in your life to help you think bigger about your visibility? How can you move past the blind spot that you have and gain a new perspective? There are many ways, but here are a few ideas:
You can listen to podcasts, read articles or books, meet with a mentor, attend an online or in-person discussion or you can use your imagination and think about the approach someone you admire would take in your situation.
These ideas are helpful to get you out of your own head and put yourself in another person’s shoes to see things differently. As you practice this, it will become easier. Look at experiences with a mindset of curiosity. Ask yourself “how can I apply what someone else is doing to be more visible, but in my own style?”
You can use someone else’s idea and fast adapt it to what you want to do. Visibility doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be a simple shift of your perspective that affects your thinking, your actions, and over time how others see you. Are you ready to think bigger?
Show, Don’t Tell
My book editor taught me a concept that says “show don’t tell.” It is used to help readers understand the situation through the story or the information that you use to describe it, instead of telling them what happened. It is more impactful for people because they can remember the story and the lesson that you are teaching. It helps them visualize the setting and they can experience the moment that you went through.
This can also be applied in the business world too. Some leaders may talk about what they do all the time, but are they actually doing it? The results that others can see helps you show them what you have done. Once you have made progress on something then you should talk about it in front of others. It makes it easier for them to marry the words that you say with the actions that you have accomplished when they can see tangible results. It builds your credibility and reputation in a stronger way.
You can also use “show don’t tell” when you are teaching something new to another leader. Use the show them approach when things are more complicated or new to them. Simply telling them the information may not be enough for them to have success. It will allow them to ask you questions and for you to see that they understand what to do.
Do you struggle with creating more visibility for you and your team? If you want my help, here is the link to set up a time with me: 30-minute conversation.
Susan M Barber, President of Susan M Barber Coaching & Consulting, LLC, works with individuals, teams, and organizations to build skills that leaders need to attain breakthrough results. Her passion for coaching and leadership development is driven by seeing the transformation of leaders as they reach far beyond their own ideas of success. She continues to drive custom programs for groups that want to make changes in their careers to become more powerful leaders.