by Patty Azzarello
Invisible doesnât work
Good work does not stand on its own.
But if you are annoying in the way you pursue visibility, you are also not doing your career any favors.
Visibility is not selfish
Visibility is not just about you. Your visibility is good for your team and your business. People with visibility get more done. Get over thinking you are on the high ground by refusing to pander to politics, because you believe good work should speak for itself. Maybe it should, but it doesnât.
If you remain uncomfortable with visibility, you remain invisible. So even though you keep delivering great work consistently, you will be disappointed by the lack of recognition, appreciation and rewards you receive.
Get more done
And youâll also have a harder time getting resources and support for what you are trying to do. No one is comfortable giving great projects and big budgets to people they donât know.
Visibility = progress for your business and your career.
1. Visibility for Real Results
Annoying: Go for publicity without results to back it up.
I am never advocating visibility INSTEAD of results. Itâs always about great work and results FIRST.
You never want to be seen as managing your career more than you are doing work. (We all know and wish bad things for those people.) You donât ever want to be viewed political with no substance.
Valuable: Be seen as doing and delivering high impact work.
The being seen part is as important as the high impact work. As long as you base the visibility on actual work that delivers value, there is nothing hollow or shallow about it.
2. Visibility with Executives
Annoying: Stalking Executives
Donât talk to an executive when he has to go to the bathroom. I have seen people keep executives outside the door to the bathroom, and refuse to let them in. How much are they really going to listen to you at that point?
Donât corner them at parties to pitch your agenda or complain about your issues. They are at a party. Donât drag them down, they get enough of that when they are not at a party.
Donât Blame them for things, with no proposals for improvement â Donât bleed all over an executive about how everything is screwed up in their business, and think your analysis will make you look smart. If you have a complaint, have a proposal. Otherwise you are just annoying.
Valuable: Have a good reason to connect with an executive.
Pay attention to what they care about. Give them positive feedback or valuable inputs to solve issues or expose opportunities. Share a personal point of interest. Donât start with an ask.
Have them know you as a person, not just a climber. Update them briefly when your work matters to THEM. And be careful that your work actually matters to them before you go on about it.
3. Visibility at Important Meetings
Annoying: Donât go to meetings just to be seen.
The important people at the meeting notice if you have no function or reason for being there, and subtract points from you career. It backfires.
Valuable: Do high value work. Tune your job to deliver more value over time. Be the reason for an important meeting to happen around your work. Find ways to make that work visible in other ways.
4. Visibility based on truth.
Annoying: Never take credit for work you didnât do.
You may get a blip of visibility, but it will backfire because it is not real. You get no real benefit from promoting yourself on any false foundation. Ultimately people will see right through it.
Valuable: Make other people famous.
Give credit to other people for good work that they did. The great thing about this is that you still get the visibility for doing the communicating. When you give the credit where it is due, based on the truth of who did the high value work, you get recognized for cultivating stars.
How have you seen people get this really right or wrong?
Let’s hear your best stories — the good, the bad, and the ugly in the comment box below!
Patty Azzarello works with executives where leadership and business challenges meet. She has held leadership roles in General Management, Marketing, Software Product Development and Sales, and has been successful in running large and small businesses. She writes at Patty Azzarello’s Business Leadership Blog. You’ll find her on Twitter as @PattyAzzarello
Successful-Blog is proud affiliate of