Do Women Slip Under the Radar? How to Increase Visibility in Your Organization

Magnifying Glass

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

~ Michael Jordan ~

Robin Greene was smart and successful; she was often the go-to person on her team if someone needed advice and she was always open to giving it. So when an internal promotion opened up and Robin looked around her, it seemed that she was the only one really deserving of it. However, three days later, she overheard loud and chatty Bill boasting about how he’d just been promoted.

Frustrated, Robin questioned her boss, Isaac, about how this could’ve happened. His answer: Robin was really good at what she did but Bill understood how to increase visibility in the organization and build influence, which had ultimately landed him the promotion.

Isaac offered Robin some sound advice to help her increase her own visibility in the organization to give her a better chance at getting the promotion next time:

Don’t make your work look too easy. Isaac suggested that although she didn’t actually say it, Robin’s attitude had often been, “This is simple and anyone could do this.” Simple or not, Robin was sabotaging her own success by undervaluing her skills and strengths. Isaac urged Robin to first value her own skill sets and then market herself on how her unique skills helped her to stand out and be more visible among her peers.

Build influence up, down, and laterally. Robin’s work was commendable, but it wasn’t recognized or visible. Isaac told Robin how important it was to build positive relationships with those above her, those she supervised, cross-departmentally, and externally. “Influence is essential to getting ahead,” emphasized Isaac. Along with increasing visibility, the higher up you want to go in a company the more influence you need to have.

Hire a professional coach. If Robin wanted to advance fast, Isaac suggested she employ the services of an experienced executive coach who could help accelerate her development and save her from learning things the hard way. A career advancement coach would offer hands-on tools and teach her ways to increase visibility at work without self-promoting, build influence correctly, and also help with other key areas like developing executive presence.

Have you just missed a promotion? Have you wondered, “How can I increase my visibility in the organization in order to get ahead?” Do you want to learn the trade secrets of building influence?

For immediate answers and real results that work, invest in a comprehensive executive coaching program today.

Talkback: Are you a woman slipping under the radar while male employees get ahead of you? What steps are you taking in your organization, to increase your visibility? Share your story in the comments below!


How to Get a Promotion at Work After Being Rejected

Sad Businesswoman

“I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it.”

~ Lou Holtz ~

Anne had done well to climb the ranks in a cut-throat male-dominated industry. However, she was stuck at the position of “manager” for four long years. She was passed up for a promotion for the third time. Whenever she reached out to management and inquired about what she needed to do to get promoted, she was considerately told that she was doing all the right things and the only thing holding back her advancement was a financial constraint.

However, people around her seemed to be getting promoted left, right and center. Disgruntled, Anne decided to confide in Scott, a senior executive whom she had built a positive relationship with over the years. His candid advice: “You just don’t have the executive presence needed to fit a bigger role.”

Although Anne was unsure as to what Scott meant, she respected him and decided to consult with a leading executive coach to figure out what she needed to do.

Anne and her coach worked out a plan to build Anne’s executive presence that would help her to get a promotion.

Here are three key areas that Anne needed to work on:

  1. Positioning herself for greater visibility. Even though Anne might have been deserving of quite a few promotions, she discovered she was being passed over simply because she never articulated her value to top management. Being overly humble was not helping her. She started positioning herself for greater visibility by volunteering for high-profile assignments across the organization and speaking up at meetings.
  2. Building influence. Although Anne had built positive relationships at work, what she hadn’t done was build influential relationships with top authorities who could have had a direct hand in helping her get ahead. Anne started connecting with her boss’s boss and other executives directly involved in the projects she was working on and let them know the role she was playing in the projects’ success.
  3. Improving her perception. In all these years if there’s one thing Anne had neglected the most it was her personal image. Anne learned that to improve her perception she had to walk the walk and talk the talk of the job she wanted, not the one she currently had.  This meant asserting herself at work, dressing for the part, and not downplaying the recognition she received for doing a good job.

It took Anne eight months to get her act together, but it was worth it. With the help of her coach, Anne got promoted to the position of “Director.” She continues to improve her perception, build influential relationships, and garner visibility in her aim to climb even higher up the corporate ladder. Her new career goal: vice president!

If you’re looking for more tips on how to get a promotion, you might like to read a recent interview of mine published on the CBS News website titled, “3 steps to getting your next promotion.”

Talkback: Have you ever been passed over for a promotion? What did you learn from the experience? Please tell us about it in the comments below.

<ahref=”″ class=”small”>Image: Ambro /

3 Painful Questions to Ask
if You’re Struggling to Get Ahead at Work

Stressed Businessman
“The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!”

~ Earl Nightingale~

In the constant struggle to get ahead at work, failing to achieve the success you desire can be quite a painful experience. Promotions you strive for go to others and you feel unappreciated and undervalued. These things lead to a drop in confidence and a depressing work day.

Here are 3 painful questions you might be asking yourself every day:

  1. Why have I been stuck at the same position in my job, even though I consistently perform well?
  2. Why don’t my boss and top managers value my hard efforts?
  3. Why doesn’t anybody know who I am or what I do for the company?

One of the reasons you might be struggling to get ahead at work has nothing to do with the way you perform or your skill level. If you know your job well and have had no performance issues over the years, you know you’ve got that covered. Your biggest obstacle stopping you from getting ahead might just be “you.” Most people don’t realize that they are sabotaging their own careers.

How is that possible, you ask? To find out, I suggest you read a recent blog post I wrote titled 3 Self-Limiting Mindsets that Will Hold You Back at Work. This post might just be the difference between staying where you are and reaching new heights in your career.

If you’re tired of struggling to get ahead at work, make sure you read my new book, Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level.


Winning the Battle

Fighting at a Meeting
If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.

~ Jack Welch ~

The fiercest competition you are likely to encounter will occur in the battle for promotions at work. Many of my clients work at companies where a bunch of executives (including your boss) sit around a table discussing whether you should receive a promotion. They talk about your character, your leadership qualities, the projects you manage, the people you oversee, the results you achieve, and your overall performance. Each manager tries to sell his or her candidate as the most deserving person for the promotion, while other members of the group will want to know why YOU deserve it. This environment is so competitive that you need to hone every asset you possibly can. Here are two tips you can implement to help you get that next promotion:

  1. Rally Some Support
    Have your manager, other managers, and executives you’ve worked with share why YOU deserve the promotion. Only one person can be chosen for the position, so you need to have as many people as possible on your side in that meeting. Make it easy for your manager to explain why you deserve to get promoted. Provide documentation that your boss can use to show what you have accomplished in your current position.
  2. Don’t Wait
    If you want to get a promotion at work, you need to take steps to get noticed by your boss and other executives well in advance. Don’t wait until there is a position available to start working toward a job promotion. Every day, you will find opportunities to outshine your co-workers if you look for them. Don’t just do the minimum that is required in your job. Look for additional projects you can take on, make an effort to expand your network, and do your best work every single day. When an opportunity for advancement becomes available, you will be the first person your boss thinks of to recommend for the position.

Review How to Get a Promotion for more tips to help you improve your odds of getting the promotion you deserve, and if you’re really serious about advancing up the corporate ladder, check out my book, Executive Presence.