I was once told by a CEO at a successful construction consultancy that the best way for someone to succeed in his business was for them to “make sure they were in people’s minds when something needs doing“. In saying this, he was essentially acknowledging the psychology of human nature which dictates we all naturally want to work with people we like, and who we trust to get the job done well. We’ll pick them for new opportunities naturally and even if there is a formal selection process in place, they will be foremost in our minds when the time comes to put people forward for promotion.
Harvey Coleman’s work in ‘Empowering Yourself, The Organisational Game Revealed’ certainly supports the view that the art of being spotted is not just about being good at your job. In what some find a bit of a depressing observation, Coleman says that only 10% of your career success is dependent on doing a good job (Performance), with the remaining element of success made up from your personal brand and what others think of you (Image), which accounts for 30% of your overall success and 60% being down to who knows about you and what you do (Exposure).
But what does this mean for you, right now? What types of questions will your organisation be asking about you (consciously or sub-consciously) when considering opportunities? Here are 10 good questions to ask yourself.
- Do you have a track record for having great relationships with clients?
- Have you helped to grow the business in a way you can clearly identify?
- Do you have a sound commercial understanding of the business and how it makes money?
- Are you seen as someone who could move into your managers shoes?
- Do you talk enthusiastically about the business to others (don’t be a “mood hoover”!)?
- Are you happy to share your knowledge freely?
- Are you willing to take on the responsibility a new role might bring?
- Do you openly show a thirst for learning? (e.g. reading new stuff)
- Do you challenge processes when appropriate and ask “how could be make this better?”
- Do you look and act the part? Would you ‘fit’ in the culture of the promoted role?
All of these will depend on the exact culture of your business, but are worthy food for thought. Try to be honest without yourself – a yes or no answer is all you need for you to then plan a personal plan to address any ‘no’ answers. You may find it useful to rank them for importance within your organisation too and then come up with a plan.