BE VISIBLE
138
wa nte d
You need to be seen in the right places at
the right time
Get outside the circle of the people you encounter
every day and ensure you leave your mark’ with
influential people.
Some people stand out in a crowd. You
need to be one of them. You need to
catch the eye of the people who count.
This has little to do with the way you
dress and more to do with your overall
demeanour and expressiveness.
Most senior people are wise enough to know that from time to
time they have to descend into the depths of the organisation to
meet employees and junior managers many ranks below them.
This happens for example at retirement events, conferences and
annual gatherings as well as at Christmas parties. It also
happens during ‘walkabouts’, charity functions and sports
contests. As a front-liner, team leader or middle manager you
need to be there. You need to be visible.
As a board director I worked for a company with over 7,000
employees. It was impossible for me to know all of them. On
average, once a week I would dedicate a whole evening, as
representative of the board, to attend a function for employees,
chat to them and give an impromptu speech. Invariably I would
enter a large room with hundreds of people sipping drinks and
chatting away. I would know none of them. They were all
strangers to me although most of them would recognise me
from photos in the company newspaper. I could hardly stand in
a corner gazing into my drink. My job was to initiate
conversations, take an interest in whoever I was talking with
and listen to what they had to say.
If you are not visible
in the organisation
you’ll be left in the
dark
If nobody approached me I would ask myself, Who should I talk
to?’ My choice was always the same. I would talk to anybody
who caught my eye and sent me body language signals that they
would welcome a chat. You need to be that person whenever a
senior person is in your vicinity. It puts them at ease and it
makes them feel they are doing what all good senior people do
chat from time to time with front-liners. You will need to ensure
you leave your ‘mark’ (by saying something important) and also
ensure they recall your name and department.
By becoming visible you will be entered on the mental database
of influential people at the top. When a challenging opportunity
arises and senior people are seeking help from the ranks you will
be one of the first they think of. You will have been earmarked as
‘rising talent’.
By becoming visible and engaging with decision makers you
develop confidence that you can chat to anyone. You should
never become an employee who shies away from senior people,
fearful you may say the wrong thing and make a fool of yourself.
Visibility also extends to consultative meetings at work. Should
a senior executive be chairing a session then make sure you
catch his or her eye. Make sure you ask a sensible question or say
something helpful. It is all about being seen and then heard. If
you are never seen there is little chance you will be considered.
PRA C T I CA L TI P
G
Try to attend as many company functions as possible and
challenge yourself to chat with at least one of the senior
executives present. If there are top people visiting from
other companies try to leave your mark with them too…
you never know!
139
Be Visible
140
wa nte d
Career stimuli
7
PSYCHE
G
It is estimated that the brain has up to 100 billion nerve
cells.
G
The eye sends 10 million bits of data to the brain every
second.
G
During our waking hours we are unconscious most of
the time.
G
You are a complex individual.
G
You don’t see yourself the way others see you.
G
You are not what you think you are.
G
How you make up your mind will be influenced by the
make-up of your heart.
G
Your career is a product of your psyche.
G
Those who have a good informal understanding of
psychology are those who will be WANTED.

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