False humility, or more importantly, not understanding the true definition of humility will kill your career. I know this because I’ve spent 20-years coaching people to senior leadership positions and the C-Suite.
Before you react, please note, I am not advocating arrogance. Arrogance and humility are not even on the same continuum, and misunderstanding this will cost you.
To be successful as a man or woman in today’s business world you need to project confidence, have a voice and be visible – in short ‘Executive Presence’.
My experience is that there is a ‘humility barrier’ – a cultural, gender and mind-set inhibitor to developing, presence, influence and leadership.
The first step in breaking through the humility barrier is to look at the correct definition of humility and how it has been misinterpreted.
The definition of "humility" comes from the Latin word humilitas, which translates as "humble", but also as...
Think of the most confident person you know. Think of how they stand, how they hold the space and how, when they speak, everyone listens. This is Executive Presence.
"Executive Presence is the ability to project confidence and gravitas (substance) under pressure."
In addition a person with executive presence can present effectively and has the ability to 'read the room', so that they can influence an audience.
In a complex, fast paced world it is vital to be noticed, heard and trusted. Executive Presence is therefore an essential competency for both individual contributors and leaders.
In my 20-years of experience as an executive coach, working with C-level executives and those that want to crack the C-Suite, I have observed that those who are successful have mastered executive presence.
I have created a free Masterclass on how to to develop executive presence and you can watch it here. You can also read these 12-Strategies...
To succeed in any organization, you must understand 'office politics'. The first rule is to be visible, doing good work is not enough if you're not associated with it. You must learn to shine.
Let me tell you about Chris who's an experienced pharmaceutical Healthcare Executive. He's delivered results as a sales head early in his career and had been moved to head office in Europe in an administrative role.
Chris made everything run smoothly. However, he did it in an under-the-radar manner, so when he wanted to step up to a country manager role he was not deemed ready.
Chris had not followed the first rule of office politics:
How could Chris have gained visibility instead of just quietly making things efficient?
Any photography enthusiastic understands that, whilst the subject remains the same, the choice of lens will change how it is viewed. What is true for cameras is also true for people, as we all see the world through our own lens of perception and bias.
A wide-angle lens gives you the 'big picture', whilst other times you will want to 'zoom in' to see detail. To have only one lens would cause you to miss out on so much.
Let me ask you a question; "Do you like to have the data points and build a picture from what you have, or do you prefer to start with a big picture and then work out the details later?"
Neither of these approaches are right or wrong, 'Big Picture' and 'Detail Orientation' are both useful, but the premise of this post, is that to be an effective leader, you need both, plus the ability to focus.
Some leaders focus on the positive and some on the negative and it shows in how they speak. What we say is a ‘reflection of the 'image' we...
Do you ever underplay or understate your real value?
Do you shy away from praise and recognition and say things like, “it was nothing”, or “It’s just my job”?
Discounting is a common behavior, but one that is more common in women than men.
With confidence and presence being key predictors of success in life and work, discounting is costing you money and your well being.
So why do we discount?
Usually because somebody or something (parents, siblings, school, friends, boss, media) has done a number on our self-esteem. Self-esteem literally means self-value and if you fail to value your ‘self’ nobody else will.
When Coaching or teaching Executive Presence, I often come across cases of discounting, but the good news is that this can be turned around by applying Self-leadership strategies.
Humility isn't what you think it is
Often discounting is driven by the desire to appear or be ‘humble’. The...
Confidence is 'the' key success factor for modern managers and leaders and yet many lack confidence in the following areas:
With all these scenarios the keys to confidence are, 1) accepting that you are valuable and have contributions to make (Self-esteem), 2) taking ownership of your thought and feelings (Personal Power) and 3) communicating what you want (Executive Presence). In short, the application of Self-leadership.
When managing downwards, managers need to remember Henry Ford who said, “The generalist will always employ the specialist.” The manager doesn’t need to know everything about everyone’s discipline they need to know how to engage smart people to get...