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Promote Yourself, and the Raise Will Come

Make conscious decisions to advance yourself without waiting to be advanced. Numerous leaders told me they get a bad taste in their mouth when they hear someone coming right out and asking for a promotion or a raise. Promote yourself, and the raise will come. You do that by raising your hand and taking on challenges that expand your value to the company and showcase the breadth of your experience and abilities. If you are constantly taking on more responsibility, the promotion or raise should come. If it doesn’t, you should talk to your boss and say, “What else can I be doing in order to advance to the next level?” Then do it.

Oh, and don’t forget the most important thing. Make sure you advertise your performance. There are all these different terms for it. Market yourself. Self-promote. Toot your own horn. Whatever. What good is stellar performance if you are the only one who knows about it?

Okay, let me repeat that again. Don’t assume your excellent work will be noticed. Bosses are busy. They have a lot of things to worry about. Their attention generally goes to what they are worrying about, instead of the things that are going well. They might notice what you are doing, but they might also forget it as soon as something bad distracts their attention. They aren’t keeping running lists of all your accomplishments that they can review before they sleep at night just so they can feel good about the world.

Procter & Gamble’s Maria Edelson gives some especially insightful advice about how to put the word out there, and numerous women will tell you why it is so critical that you do it. Accept it. As uncomfortable as it may feel to show how great you are, you must develop the talent. I liked Kathy Hannan’s story, which showed how her failure to self-promote left a window wide open for a less diligent, less able, less deserving    co-worker to claim credit for what she was doing.

Performance alone will not make you the CEO. But you will not become the CEO without CEO-worthy performance. And you do belong at the highest level if you think you do.

We assume that people at the top are more naturally brilliant and possess far greater brainpower than the rest of us folks, but Broader says that assumption is just plain wrong. Granted, it may be easier for some people to operate in that realm than others, but we do have far more control over our own destiny than we acknowledge. And we can exercise that control by making the decision to perform, learn, and deliver results.

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