I’ve been reading through Making Ideas Happen with my lead team the past few weeks. It’s generating some good dialogue and reinforcing practices we value. The book goes against conventional wisdom and advocates "self-promotion" to stimulate better teamwork. Before you get hung up on the phrase, consider the motives.
- Is it for personal gain or personal effectiveness?
- Is it about advancing your career or enhancing a team?
- Is it about getting your task done or accomplishing a group objective?
I agree that one of the best contributions you can make to a team is to take it upon yourself to offer your strengths, even if it’s not in your “official job description.” Your teammates need to know where they can rely on you the most, and sometimes they won’t know unless you speak up. (Buckingham writes about the same concept in Now Discover Your Strengths.) Belsky breaks down some practicals:
- You can’t rely on others-especially your managers and clients-to engage your strengths.
- Mine for opportunities.
- Little problems pop up all the time that are, in fact, opportunities to which you can add a unique value.
- Fight the desire to wait for instructions and learn to showcase your skills and expertise without an invitation.
It’s not helpful when a team member jockeys to advance their personal agenda or get exposure for public credit. But, when they promote themselves to strengthen the team? That’s a game-changer.
“Wouldn't it be great if we didn't care who got the credit as long as the job got done?”