If you don’t feel like a respected leader at your workplace, if you don’t feel like you have a seat at the decision making table, you are not alone. Countless professionals especially women and people of color feel like they are constantly hitting a glass ceiling. Inclusion in the workplace is an ongoing discussion because it’s an ongoing challenge. In workplaces where owners and CEOs have already predetermined that their C-Suite and executive board would only be full of people who look like them, I have no advice or strategy to offer except- RUN. Don’t waste your talents on a group of people and their organization that was never designed for you to be a significant part of it. There is nothing you can do. Don’t be their token minority or female hire. You deserve better!
If the above scenario does not describe your workplace your seat at the table is worth fighting for, don’t give up. Make your presence known. Show your value and prove that the organization will only thrive if you are part of the leadership team. That climb to the top will not happen over night but there are 3 action steps you can take right now that will cause you to standout and make the current executive team take notice of who you are and what you offer.
1. Solve a Problem
Persistent problems highlight a void in the workplace. When some aspect at work is always failing or ineffectively done that is a void and a missed space and opportunity. Fill it up. Maybe you know a less expensive option to an expense. Maybe you found an app or software to help everyone communicate better and complete tasks. Perhaps you have ideas on landing a highly sought after client. Look for friction, disorder, and repeat failures and strategize and develop methods to turn negatives into positives and chaos into order.
2. Attach your Skill to a Revenue Stream
Being good at your job is never good enough. If you are just showing up and crossing tasks off of a to-do-list that someone else created for you, you are replaceable. Good is not enough. Most professionals are good. If you want job security and advancement make sure you thoroughly understand how your organization generates revenue. If you understand the ends and outs of all of their revenue streams use every skill you have to support the financial aspects of the business. When your skills directly make them money losing you or under investing in you becomes a liability. They need you!
If a business is fails to innovate they fail to compete, they fail to grow, and their days of being a successfully established brand are numbered. Be a visionary! Help the company grow and evolve. Be brilliant. When creativity and a hard work ethic meet, innovation is inspired. Don’t just be a piece of the puzzle, design the puzzle.
When you have successfully completed the 3 action steps above pitch yourself! That’s right create a detailed pitch and presentation to your management team and decision makers and let it be known that you are seeking a leadership role. Greatness can slip under the radar, you have to advocate for yourself. I don’t personally know your boss but I have trained and strategized with enough shot callers to know that most of them are results and numbers driven. It is easy for them to assume your success was the result of teamwork versus your individually created and executed efforts. Paint the picture for them with numbers and facts and tell them what you want. You don’t simply get invited to table you will have to make space at the table and insist that you belong there. If you want to be a leader, lead. Showing action and results is always the most efficient way to advance at work. Push forward!
If this inspires you and you want more thoughtful commentary and discussions on leadership, success, professionalism, and more subscribe to my YouTube Channel here: http://bit.ly/DialogueWithDallas