Written By: Kendra Lee
In a world that’s getting noisier by the day, the longer you wait to reveal yourself, the likelier it is that you’ll find yourself stuck in the visibility vacuum.
For months (or maybe even years), you’ve been a high performer at your business. Your pipeline is consistently healthy. Your forecasts are spot on. And you perpetually hit or exceed quota and revenue targets.
All that hard work and achievement has probably yielded significant financial rewards, but you’ve yet to be considered for a more senior position or invited into more strategic conversations and sales planning sessions. In fact, from your perspective, it seems like lesser sales performers are getting all of the attention and subsequently cruising through the ranks.
You might be stuck in what I like to call the “visibility vacuum”—a veritable career black hole in which your contributions are viewed only through the lens of direct, on-the-job contributions.
Yes, you’re capable of hitting the goals higher-ups set for you. And, yes, you’ve proven to be a fantastic salesperson. But beyond those qualifications, does anyone know who you really are? For instance, are company managers aware that you volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, or serve on the board of the United Way? What about your contributions to Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Make-a-Wish Foundation—does anyone at the office know about your involvement with those organizations?
Believe it or not, that information matters to your career success.
When your management team is aware of your leadership capabilities outside of the office, it allows them to see you from a different perspective. All of a sudden, you’re no longer just Beth Martin, standout sales executive. You’re Beth Martin, standout sales executive and community leader.
The reality is that in today’s world, that kind of visibility equates to success —no matter how you define it. You might be the best employee, employer, volunteer, or student in the world, but if the people you want to be aware of those accomplishments aren’t given the opportunity to learn about them, then you’ll likely find it difficult to truly stand out. And in a world that’s getting noisier by the day, the longer you wait to reveal yourself, the likelier it is that you’ll find yourself stuck in the visibility vacuum.
If your answer to that question is that managers and executives only know you through the lens of your work accomplishments, you’re unfortunately on your way to becoming a member of the excellent and unrecognized club. Frankly, that’s not the club you want to be in if your career goal is to work in management some day.
In fact, great salespeople should strive to be ubiquitous and visible in their companies, just as they strive to do the same with their prospects. But to accomplish that, you must be willing to stand up and toot your own horn. Yes, it might feel awkward boasting about how you helped raise $2 million for cancer research, but there’s nothing disingenuous or fake about real successes —particularly in the context of truly helping others.
Now is the time to start thinking about what you do in your free time and why your management team might care about those things. While community service and other activities might not seem relevant to the workplace, I think you’d be surprised by how your involvement in certain functions positively influences the way people view you.
Kendra Lee is a top IT seller, sales advisor and business owner who knows…
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