Diamond in the rough

A Leadership Freak reader asks, “If you thought you were a diamond in the rough who was not being found, what would you do?”


Getting to the next level in your career depends in large part on the level you currently occupy. For example, front line employees create a platform of success by excelling at execution. On the other hand, supervisors and managers are noticed by effectively delegating.

You could say people on the front line rise up by doing while mid-levels rise up by not doing.

After excelling at your current job…

Regardless of your current level, think like the boss. Understand and embrace the boss’s values, mission, and vision. Appreciate their challenges and help solve their problems. Be a solution maker not a problem creator.

Additionally, People move up by looking down. Look down on your organization as if you were over it. Learn what makes things ticks. Embrace the official and unofficial power-structure. Rest assured if you do everything the right way but you offend unofficial leaders, you’re stuck.

Remember, people tend to overestimate their good traits and underestimate their negatives. It’s likely you think you are better than you really are. Off set this tendency by soliciting feedback from decision makers, insiders, and influencers. This is a delicate matter. If you aren’t careful, you’ll come off needy.

After soliciting feedback, follow through and follow up. Once a month explain in specific what you are doing to improve.

Avoid the tendency to frequently express your desire to get ahead. In this case, put your head down, excel, improve, and wait for the best opportunity.


I’ll post more on this topic Friday, Oct. 22. Tomorrow Jim Kouzes is back and I’m reviewing, “The Truth about Leadership.” In addition, we’re giving away five copies.


What are your suggestions for a person who wants to get noticed and move up?