Study the Awareness to Action Enneagram™ in Paris! »
« The Three Instinctual Biases

Recommendations for Growth: Appropriate Self-Promotion

There are as many paths to leadership success as there are successful leaders.

There are successful introverted leaders and successful extroverted leaders; successful optimists and successful pessimists; successful leaders who are intense and impatient and successful leaders with the equanimity of Job.

The one quality that all the best leaders have is the ability to adapt, to be able to respond to changing needs and circumstances.

That said, over 20 years of working with leaders, I have found that it is good to have some sort of framework to start with as my clients focus on their on-going leadership development.

The Awareness to Action Leadership model is a framework I have developed as that starting point. It consists of 12 competencies divided into four areas:
* Self-Mastery (the ability to modify one’s behavior),Recommendations for Growth for the 12 competencies
* Preparing the Path (competencies that enable leaders to scale),
* Leadership Relationships
* Leadership Thinking

Those competencies are shown in the image to the right and I’ve recently developed a simple guidebook  with recommendations for growth in each area exclusively for my clients. As a sample, recommendations for growth in the area of Appropriate Self-Promotion are found below.

The Awareness to Action Leadership Recommendations for Growth Guidebook is available to former and existing clients by sending an email to me at

Appropriate Self-Promotion

An individual or a team are of little value if no one knows what they are capable of. People who score high in this area ensure that they and their team are used to their fullest capability.

To improve in this area:

  • Take control of your personal band. Recognize that people are cognitive misers and will form quick opinions of you, and that once those opinions are formed they can be difficult (but not impossible) to change. While if may not be fair, it is up to you to manage other people’s perception of you—you are responsible for managing your brand. What 3-5 things do you want people to identify with your brand? Identify actions to take to ensure that people start to see these qualities in you.
  • Inform people of your developmental goals (this increases the chance they will see them).
  • Audit your professional appearance. Do you present yourself like someone higher in the organization? Identify what upgrades you need to make.
  • Be energetic and positive; take advantage of and manage emotional resonance.
  • Have more “executive presence” by being more present. Be attentive and present when people talk to you; care about what they are saying and be an active listener.
  • Become a “thought leader.” Become a better public speaker and writer and develop a plan to speak or publish regularly. “Regularly” does not necessarily mean “frequently.” Opt for quality over quantity, but be sure to commit to a regular schedule and adhere to the schedule.
  • Never self-deprecate. Humility is a great quality; continually minimizing your accomplishments is not. If someone compliments you, say a simple “thank you” and then share credit with others if appropriate, but don’t reject praise and pass all credit to others for something you were involved in. Don’t brag—but don’t minimize yourself, either.
  • Identify champions and ask for their support. The best promotion is word of mouth so find people who value your contribution and are willing to tell others about your capabilities.