Going from Great to Exceptional

Ladder of Success
“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves—to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.”

~ Stewart B. Johnson ~

Although hard work, experience, leadership, and your ability to influence others are all key factors in getting promoted, executive presence is often the factor that separates the great employees from the exceptional. Executive presence can mean the difference between sitting stagnant on one rung of the corporate ladder or quickly climbing past your co-workers. There are three excellent ways to develop this distinctive quality: building a strong personal brand, stepping outside your comfort zone, and recruiting influential advocates to support you.

I discuss these three methods in my recent guest blog post, “3 Killer Ways to Build Your Executive Presence,” for Diane Craig’s Corporate Class Inc., a leading image and etiquette consultant company that has been advising Fortune 500 companies for more than twenty years. In my post, I discuss how building your brand helps you set yourself apart from your co-workers and establishes you as an expert your employer will value. I also explain how risk-taking isn’t just for leaders, but further establishes you as the employee who goes the extra mile for your organization. By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll have a better understanding of how important strategic relationships and executive presence are to your career and job advancement.

With these methods, you’ll gain more organizational recognition, become more influential and have strong allies in your corner. Through the development of executive presence, you will be a driver of change who creates innovative solutions and positively impacts your company’s growth and success. Each of these factors will transform you from a great employee to an exceptional employee your organization will be eager to promote.

Joel Garfinkle is a personal leadership coach who has helped develop effective leaders in many top companies. He has worked with clients at Shell Chemicals, Eli Lilly, Coldwell Banker, and dozens of other leading businesses in the US and worldwide.

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It’s Often a Matter of Perception… When it Comes to Career Advancement

Earth Flattened with Rolling Pin

“If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true were really true, there would be little hope of advance.”

~ Orville Wright ~

Success in your career is dependent on a variety of factors. It’s not simply a matter of garnering expert knowledge, working hard, and building your experience. There are other more qualitative factors at play that can be the difference between career advancement and career stagnation. One of these critical factors is perception.

In my interview for a USA Today article by Anita Bruzzese, author of 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy… and How to Avoid Them, I discuss the importance of perception and how promoting yourself is key to getting promoted. Read my interview in Bruzzese’s article, Perceptions of Your Work May Linger Longer than Actions.

As you read this article, you’ll learn not only why it’s important how others perceive you in the workplace, but also how to improve that perception. I discuss the difference between sharing your contributions to your company and being an arrogant blowhard. Although people often worry that talking about their efforts will come across as bragging, when done correctly, you’ll enhance the perception your boss has of you while helping your company in the process.

As an excecutive coach, my clients have expressed four common life experiences that negatively affect their ability to promote themselves in the workplace. Bruzzese’s article states the following four: your cultural upbringing, the region where you were raised, your gender, and the company you keep. These facets can all affect how you are perceived and your proficiency at changing those perceptions for the better. With my suggestions, you can overcome these challenges and begin to promote yourself to get promoted, since it is often a matter of perception.

Read my new book, Getting Ahead, for practical advice to help you improve your perceptions, increase your visibility, and exert influence to work your way up the career ladder more quickly than you could have imagined.