Visible, but not annoying

Visible or annoying.

This week, my visibility and Personal Branding approach was published in Fortune Magazine.

Here’s more…

Invisible doesn’t work

Good work does not stand on its own.  But if you are annoying in the way you pursue visibility, you are also not doing your career any favors.

Visibility is not selfish

Visibility is not just about you.  Your visibility is good for your team and your business. People with visibility get more done.   Get over thinking you are on the high ground by refusing to pander to politics, because you believe good work should speak for itself.  Maybe it should, but it doesn’t.

If you remain uncomfortable with visibility, you remain invisible.  So even though you keep delivering great work consistently, you will be disappointed by the lack of recognition, appreciation and rewards you receive.

Get more done

And you’ll also have a harder time getting resources and support for what you are trying to do.  No one is comfortable giving great projects and big budgets to people they don’t know.

Visibility = progress for your business and your career.

1. Visibility for Real Results

Annoying: Go for publicity without results to back it up.

I am never advocating visibility INSTEAD of results.  It’s always about great work and results FIRST.

You never want to be seen as managing your career more than you are doing work. (We all know and wish bad things for those people.) You don’t ever want to be viewed political with no substance.

Valuable: Be seen as doing and delivering high impact work.

The being seen part is as important as the high impact work.  As long as you base the visibility on actual work that delivers value, there is nothing hollow or shallow about it.

2. Visibility with Executives

Annoying: Stalking Executives

Don’t talk to an executive when he has to go to the bathroom. I have seen people keep executives outside the door to the bathroom, and refuse to let them in.  How much are they really going to listen to you at that point?

Don’t corner them at parties to pitch your agenda or complain about your issues.  They are at a party. Don’t drag them down, they get enough of that when they are not at a party.

Don’t Blame them for things, with no proposals for improvement – Don’t bleed all over an executive about how everything is screwed up in their business, and think your analysis will make you look smart. If you have a complaint, have a proposal. Otherwise you are just annoying.

Valuable: Have a good reason to connect with an executive.

Pay attention to what they care about.  Give them positive feedback or valuable inputs to solve issues or expose opportunities.  Share a personal point of interest.  Don’t start with an ask.

Have them know you as a person, not just a climber.  Update them briefly when your work matters to THEM.  And be careful that your work actually matters to them before you go on about it.

3. Visibility at Important Meetings

Annoying: Don’t go to meetings just to be seen.

The important people at the meeting notice if you have no function or reason for being there, and subtract points from you career.  It backfires.

Valuable: Do high value work. Tune your job to deliver more value over time. Be the reason for an important meeting to happen around your work. Find ways to make that work visible in other ways.

4. Visibility based on truth.

Annoying: Never take credit for work you didn’t do.

You may get a blip of visibility, but it will backfire because it is not real.  You get no real benefit from promoting yourself on any false foundation. Ultimately people will see right through it.

Valuable: Make other people famous.

Give credit to other people for good work that they did. The great thing about this is that you still get the visibility for doing the communicating.  When you give the credit where it is due, based on the truth of who did the high value work, you get recognized for cultivating stars.

You can find Patty at, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her books RISE and MOVE.

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