Diamond in the Rough Pt. 2

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

My response to this question is not directed at the questioner. Please consider them general suggestions.


Gratitude takes you further than groaning. Avoid complaining when you’re not recognized. Whining about your current state won’t improve your current state. Here’s a fact of life, no one appreciates you like you appreciate you. Can we move on?

On the other hand, appreciate appreciation. Express gratitude when others show you gratitude. Rather than saying, “It was nothing,” say, “Thank you for noticing.” You won’t get ahead by belittling your contribution with false humility.

Understand and embrace office politics. Sell yourself. Does this rub you the wrong way? Think of office politics as a system of internal communication, decision-making, and reputation-building. Sell yourself by passing along praise from others. When you receive praise from a client or customer, pass it along to your boss. Don’t praise yourself. Let others praise you.

Develop a personal advancement strategy. Be sure to include relationship building activities. In addition, educate yourself for the next level. Take courses, seminars, and read books that lift your skills beyond your current context.

Get a coach from outside your organization, someone at or above the level you are shooting to achieve. Everyone needs an encourager. It’s better not to use a friend as a coach.

If your current boss is a roadblock go around them. Be professional, do your job, but don’t waste your time working through your current boss. Fighting roadblocks is a losing proposition. You may say, “If I go around my boss they’ll get angry.” So what? What happens if you don’t go around a roadblocking boss?


What are the key components to a personal advancement strategy?

I think going around the boss is very risky. What do you think?