Climbing the Corporate Ladder in High Heels
- Monday, February 26, 2007
Deal wisely with your longings. Realize that waiting – as difficult as it can be – is often a crucial time to reflect on your progress so far and consider what lies ahead. View seasons of waiting for something you desire as valuable gifts that will help you develop hope, patience, and faith you couldn’t develop without a struggle. Shift your focus off your currently unfulfilled desires to the many reasons you currently have to be grateful. Remember that there is a bigger plan at work in the midst of tough circumstances. Trust God to ultimately bring good out of any situation. Live to the fullest right now – not when your wait is over. Don’t miss all the gifts God has for you while you wait. Know that if you look for them, you will start to recognize them all around you.
Build your personal brand. Don’t be shy about promoting yourself to others in your workplace, to potentially open up more opportunities for you to contribute. Develop a personal brand to communicate clearly to other people – the sum total of what people think and feel about you. Carefully consider whether or not people perceive accurately and what you might change about the way you communicate to help them better understand you. Ask God to give you clear pictures of how He would like you to fulfill your purpose at work, and create a plan with specific steps to make those pictures a reality. Produce your best work, regularly evaluate yourself to see whether or not you’re on track, and patiently keep giving your best as you wait for more opportunities to open up to you.
Organize a personal board of directors. Consider who might help you turn your ideas into realities, identify resources, improve your performance, and broaden your influence. Think about people who inspire you and would be willing to invest some time into helping you succeed. When approaching them for help, be succinct and specific about the type of help you’re requesting. Let them know how much you admire them and why you would like their help. Offer them something in return, such as being willing to share your expertise in another area with them. Be sure to thank them for their help.
Lead well. Realize that everyone can be a leader because leadership skills are learned. Think of yourself as a leader, knowing that leadership isn’t about holding a certain position, but about inspiring others and making positive contributions. Aspire to be the best leader you can be at work by maximizing other people’s passion and potential. Schedule team-building days to get people away from their daily pressures and focus on how their individual purposes fit into broader corporate goals. Also schedule team meetings and one-on-one discussions to affirm each person with whom you work. Conduct employee evaluations regularly to help people keep doing their best. Celebrate the achievements of everyone you lead at work. Measure your impact as a leader not just by what your team has achieved, but how every team member has grown as an individual.
Become a strong public speaker. Don’t be afraid of speaking in public. Understand that public speaking is vital to communicating well on the job, and that the more you practice it, the more effective you’ll become. Make it your goal to communicate with influence in a memorable way. Get to know your audience so you can tailor your message to them and earn the right to keep them listening. Strive to answer their basic question: “What’s in it for me if I listen to this?”. As you begin your remarks, provide an overview and indicate the main message you hope they will take away from your speech. Let them know you will try to give them something specific and tangible as a return on their investment of time spent listening to you. As you finish each section of your comments, summarize its one key thought. Tell personal anecdotes that support your points, so people will be more likely to connect to your message. Provide examples of how your audience can apply your message in their own lives.
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