How to Become Known

CEO Next Door

I’m reading the brand new book, The CEO Nextdoor.  I highly recommend it!  I want to share some thoughts and excerpts from the chapter entitled “Stand Out:  How to Become Known.”  I’ve talked with many staff members over the years who truly want to move up in the company.  I’ve heard all kinds of stories of desire, and I’ve witnessed all sorts of tactics people employ to get to their next level.  Here are some insights from authors, Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell on how to become known at work:


“Build relationships to deliver results for the good of the company – not your own self-interest.”

Make the Most of even the Toughest Boss Situations:

  1. Understand your boss’s goals.  What does success look like to them?  How does your role fit into that?
  2. Don’t guess their expectations and preferences.  Ask.  What are their top goals for your work?
  3. Let your boss help you.  “People who see themselves as being invested in your success want to be consulted and involved i your important career moves.”
  4. Master the regular update on the things that matter.  Send focused updates to your boss.  “How do I help this individual above me achieve the goals for the enterprise?  That’s the secret to making your superior your sponsor…”

Everyone wants to get noticed at work, right?  Being busy is not what’s needed.  Focus on adding “the most value and contribute what the organization values most.”  “You need to make a contribution that moves the needle for the company.  Something that is visibly and meaningfully core to what drives value.”

Oh, there’s more in this chapter.  Do yourself a favor and order it today.  It is well-written, thought-provoking, and it will challenge you to become better whether or not you are a CEO or are aspiring to become one.  



LeaderBox – Leadership Resources for YOU

Are you looking for leadership material to read and apply?  I just found a great new resource called LeaderBox.  Each month, LeaderBox will send you books on leadership as well as other resources to help you become better:  a better leader, a better thinker, a better doer.

I am providing a link that you can use to learn more.  Invest in yourself this year.  LeaderBox can help!

Click on the icon below to get started:


Or follow this link to get started: LeaderBox

The Impact of Coaching

“From my point of view coaching is not a tool, it is a way of being. At best it is a way of being with someone so that they begin to believe in, and progress, their own ideas. Coaching your employees can best be achieved by setting up a certified coach training programme for managers so that they can coach their staff successfully by:

• ensuring there are clear agreements and confidentiality
• creating and maintaining the energy and space for them to further their own potential
• encouraging them to take calculated risks
challenging their negative beliefs
• enjoying with them the sense of achievement
• working with them to enhance their potential

Successfully done coaching can greatly enhance the self-belief and motivation of staff, particularly in times of change and uncertainty.”  (excerpt from Coaching in the Workplace by Jackie Arnold).

I agree!  I have found no downside to effect coaching.  Your team wants it.  Your company/organization needs it.  You, the leader, needs it!

So why don’t we do it consistently?

  • Many people don’t know how to coach.
  • Many people don’t value coaching.  “I’ve told them once…why don’t they get it.”
  • Many people don’t value other people.
  • Many people have a skewed idea of what coaching is.

In the article mentioned above, Jackie Arnold goes on to say:

“One significant advantage of coaching is that your employees will begin to take ownership and responsibility for their actions and self-development. The good news is that the manager as coach does not need to come up with solutions. Instead you will be listening more closely to your staff, reflecting back what you hear and questioning them in order to bring out their ideas and solutions.”

My leadership and I have been working on developing our coaching skills.  I am happy to say that they have dramatically improved! They have learned to ask great questions to get to the core of issues.  And they don’t stop with just one question.  They dig.  They probe.  They get their team members to really think.  They get to the bottom of issues.  And their team members are coming up with solutions.

So as you head into a coaching session, prepare yourself by writing down key questions you want to ask.  Avoid questions that can be answered with a yes/no.

Not:  “Did you learn something from that project?”  Rather:  “What did you learn from that project that you can apply going forward?

Not: “Did your interaction with that other department go well?”  Rather:  “How did your interaction go with that department?”

Not: “I see you did not complete the report on time.  Are you going to get it done by next week?”  Rather:  “What got in your way that caused the report to be late?  Who was affected by this delay?  What needs to change in future for you to be more timely?”

It is easy to move into auto-pilot mode as a leader.  You are busy.  You’ve got your own deadlines and initiatives.  But as a leader, you are supposed to get results through others.  And those “others” also can slip into auto-pilot.  Great questions help them break free from that mode.  Great questions help you understand what is happening and why it is happening.  Great questions help you and your team member become better.

Do some preparation in advance, and your next coaching session can improve!


20 Ways to Become Better as a Leader by Jim Johnson

Become better square

  1. Set meaningful personal goals and work on them every day.
  2. Practice gratitude every day.
  3. Do random acts of kindness.
  4. Read inspiring, challenging books every day.
  5. Listen to inspiring podcasts.
  6. Follow impactful leadership blogs.
  7. Find and meet with a mentor.
  8. Mentor someone.
  9. Network with other leaders.
  10. Volunteer your time in your community.
  11. Do more than expected at work.
  12. Intentionally meet new leaders in your community.
  13. Write someone a personal note of appreciation.
  14. Say “please” and “thank you”.
  15. Open the door for others.
  16. Smile more.
  17. Listen more than you speak.
  18. Spend time with family and friends.
  19. Laugh – don’t take yourself too seriously.
  20. Develop positive self-talk.

The Best Version

I just received in the mail the book The Dream Manager (Matthew Kelly). It was recommended to me by a new friend about a week ago.  Here’s an excerpt from the very beginning of the book:

“A company’s purpose is to become the-best-version-of-itself.  The next question is:  What is an employee’s purpose?  Most would say, ‘to help the company achieve its purpose,’ but they would be wrong.  That is certainly part of an employee’s role, but an employee’s primary purpose is to become the-best-version-of-himself or herself…

The company exists for people.  When a company forgets that it exists to serve its customers, it quickly goes out of business.  Our employees are our first customers, and our most influential customers.  

A person’s purpose is to become the-best-version-of-himself or herself.”

I’m looking forward to diving deeper into this book.  Thank you, Scott Druhot, for the recommendation!

Update:  I just finished this book during my lunch!  Wow!  I will be implementing these ideas with my leadership team soon!  You need to read this book!


Six Toxic Beliefs that Successful People Quarantine by Dr. Travis Bradberry

When it comes to self-talk, we’ve discovered six common, yet toxic, beliefs that hold people back more than any others. Be mindful of your tendencies to succumb to these beliefs, so that they don’t derail your career:

Toxic Belief #1: Perfection = Success

Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure, and end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish, instead of enjoying what you were able to achieve.

Toxic Belief #2: My Destiny is Predetermined

Far too many people succumb to the highly irrational idea that they are destined to succeed or fail. Make no mistake about it, your destiny is in your own hands, and blaming multiple successes or failures on forces beyond your control is nothing more than a cop out. Sometimes life will deal you difficult cards to play, and others times you’ll be holding aces. Your willingness to give your all in playing any hand you’re holding determines your ultimate success or failure in life.

Toxic Belief #3: I “Always” or “Never” Do That

Follow this link to read the entire article:

Does Your Team Know What Your Team Does? by Jim Johnson

I’ve been working on a little project here at work.  I lead 4 different, unique divisions.  We are all on the same floor.  There is a lot of collaboration between the teams.  But I discovered something.  The team still doesn’t always know what the team (overall) does.

So I addressed it.

With the help of my leadership team, I created a document (12 pages long) that highlights each of my divisions, the work they do, and the up-to-date results they are getting.  In each of their sections, I also shared the company awards they’ve received over the past couple of years (it’s always good to be reminded of this!).  Each team member was listed and all of their photos were included.

Teams can do the work day in and day out.  We all are busy.  My team is full of flawed, human beings – myself included!  We are not perfect.  But we do a lot to move our company forward.  We work hard to serve our customers (members) to our best ability.  We care about each other inside and outside of work.

I created this document to be sure my team understands all that goes on.  I want them to appreciate their own efforts and results.  I want them to appreciate the efforts of those working on the other side of the room.  Together, we are making a positive impact.

I challenge you to do something similar with your team.  This exercise helped me focus on the positive strengths this team has.  I think it will help my team focus on that, too.

winning teams