Posts Tagged ‘Corporate Savviness’

Walking Tall and Out of the Blur

March 11th, 2015
What you look like without personal brand visibility..

What you look like without personal brand visibility..

Corporate Political Savviness is often the subject of controversy.

People I’ve met, fall into 4 groups when it comes to their attitude towards it and skill at it:
- The Architects think highly of it and are skilled at it. They are the politically savvy minority who know their way around the rough terrain and who master the art of the lure.
- The Envious are the wanna-be architects with little skills. They watch the architects in action, they want to be like them and either don’t dare to or try and miss.
- The Rebels are those who know the art of the game and yet dislike it and refuse to play it. Their rebellion could be out of boredom, and/or against their perspective that focuses exclusively on the inefficiencies, the unfairness and the many-times pretentious or manipulative nature of the process.
- The Huhs are those who have no clue of what we’re talking about.

From here onward, and for the aim of segregating good practice, let’s call it personal brand visibility or personal visibility. I am excluding the word corporate from the description because I believe that the same applies whether you’re under the concrete ceiling of corporations or the cloth tent of entrepreneurship. Only the cast is different.

To cut a story short, no matter which group you belong to, thinking that personal visibility is a luxury that can be ignored is like shooting yourself in the leg. The axioms of “it’s their job to notice my good work” and “it will eventually pay off (by inertia alone)” are only valid if you have time.

You don’t.

As long as you’re not the one making the rules of the game, as long as there are influencers outside your reach, as long as you are one player in a busy arena of ferocious competitors, you have one choice: that of learning to play.

First things first: shift your attitude. If you look low at personal visibility, you will gather enough reasons not to go anywhere. You can, in fact, stand tall and stand out as the focused bit of a blurry chaos – without the need for crawling and going against your values.

Once they’re over this, what I often ask my clients to do is to go through the following planning exercise. I call it the visibility matrix.

To build a visibility matrix from which you can derive your content plan, start by the present in mind. List all the names of those who influence your results, and give them weights on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 being the most influential and 1 the least influential. Using the same scale, assess how much influence you have on them, and then compare the 2 values and prioritize your action.

Once you’re done, you will end up with a list of names ranked by order of priority of action: those who have most influence on your results and upon whom you have least influence will be at the top. They are the ones that you need to address first.

Influence is another word of good relationship. And as Suzan Scott puts it in Fierce Conversations, whatever you want in a relationship, you should invest in a (series of) conversation(s).

What’s next is the easier bit: search for content. Look up solid, real, interesting conversation topics that you can have with these people and set the stage for them to happen. Slow your pace to get in the elevator with them if you need to, and do whatever else to create the coincidence and start the (series of) conversation(s). One at a time, you will have a relationship and you will go from barcode to brand.

That’s the road to the focused bit in the blurry background.

Let me know how it goes…

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