3 Ways See Yourself Bigger–And Help Others See It, Too

3 Ways See Yourself Bigger–And Help Others See It, Too

By being proactive in these ways, not only will you be seen as “bigger,” you’ll actually become the next-level leader you want to be.

You’ve accomplished a lot in your career, you’re eager to move to the next level – but how do you get your colleagues and superiors to see you in your new role as a leader when they still see you in your old role?

For example, you want to be seen as strategic and visionary, but others see you as someone they can rely on to “get things done.” Or, you want to be involved early in important conversations, but others pull you in on an “as needed basis.”

So how do you get other people to shift their perspective of you, to see you as the leader you want to be?

Many leaders struggle to change others’ perceptions of them simply because they don’t realize they can influence the way they are seen. Here are three ways you can get others to see you as the leader you are:

See yourself bigger. Don’t let your own self-doubt hold you back. If your self-perception needs a boost, spend time with your strengths. Remember what it is you do especially well and what you want to do more of.

Step into bigger shoes. In several companies where I coach and speak, the way to get promoted is to act the part of a position for six months before you get the title. If you can prove yourself to be an effective leader at that next level by doing the things next-level-leaders do, then and only then will you be eligible for the actual post. Hold yourself to this standard and play the part of the role you want, whether that means contributing in new ways, speaking up with more courage and conviction, or sharing innovative ideas.

Tell others how you want them to view you. It sounds like this: “I’ve been a salesperson in this organization for a long time, but I’d like to take on more of a leadership role.” Follow it up with requests to get involved in higher-level activities, or share your ambitions so others can help pave the way.

By being proactive in these ways, not only will you be seen as “bigger,” you’ll actually become the next-level leader you want to be. Take a moment to imagine if your colleagues and superiors viewed you in your new role. You would be able to elevate yourself into the kind of position and reputation you want to have, as someone essential to the leadership team who can help drive the direction of the company or lead a project to a successful outcome. You would be having fun, contributing and engaging with others – instead of striving and driving so hard every day to just get yourself noticed.

3 Ways See Yourself Bigger–And Help Others See It, Too


Slow Deciders Make Better Strategists

Slow Deciders Make Better Strategists

There are many ways to split people into two groups. Young and old. Rich and poor. Us and them. The 98% who can do arithmetic and the 3% who cannot. Those who split people into two groups and those who don’t.

Then there’s the people who make good competitive-strategy decisions, and those who don’t.

It’s not easy to split people into the good/bad strategy decision-makers. Track records are useful but they’re not unambiguous, and those getting started have no track records at all. General intelligence and business degrees seem to be good signs, but smart people with business degrees don’t agree on what works in strategy. Veterans with specific industry expertise look promising, but so do outsiders with new ideas.

What about mindset? We know people put credence in confidence. However, it seems to me there’s a difference between someone who’s confident after laboring over a thoughtful decision and someone who’s confident with a snap judgment. It seems to me there’s a difference between someone who’s unsure after serious contemplation and someone who’s unsure about a quick pick.

Imagine that we can record decision-makers’ solutions to a competitive-strategy problem. We also ask how confident they feel that they’ve found a good answer and how long it took them to find it. We can categorize them, then, like this:


I’ve got such a database of people, those who have entered the Top Pricer Tournament. The database includes business executives, consultants, professors, and students. I gave all of them the same unfamiliar but straightforward pricing-strategy problem.

Dozens of Tournament entrants said they were very confident in their strategies after making a fast decision, dozens said they were very confident after a slow decision, and so on. The phrases in the boxes are how I interpret the mindsets of the people in those boxes. In the analysis below I’ll leave out the respondents in the “I guessed” box because they seem unrepresentative of what happens in real life, where strategists work at strategy decisions until they’re confident in their answers or they’ve worked long enough to conclude they’re not going to make further progress.

In general, the I-already-knows, confident in their snap judgments, and the Now-I-knows, confident after pondering, tend to be older males. Male business students are also represented in the I-already-knows. The I-don’t-knows, unsure of their thoughtful decisions, tend to be somewhat younger. And females make up well over half of the I-don’t-knows, a much higher percentage than in the other mindsets.

Make your prediction: which of the three styles selected the best-performing Tournament strategies?

The best-performing group: the I-don’t-knows.

Perhaps it’s about age: we gain confidence over time, but maybe not skill. Perhaps it’s about gender: rather than the conventional wisdom that females don’t have enough confidence, maybe males have too much. I don’t have enough data yet to assess those hypotheses. And perhaps the results will change as the sample sizes grow.

Still, the I-don’t-knows’ success fits my business war-gaming experience.

In one case, the new vice president of a troubled business brought together about thirty managers, each with decades in the business. The managers considered the war game an amusing waste of time. They all knew the answer already, they said, and no other options were possible. Then, role-playing their business and its competitors, they discovered that their already-known answer simply would not work. The manag­ers suddenly found new options. We war-gamed one, and it worked, and they rolled it out in real life, and it worked. The new VP got promoted.

It’s not that the managers didn’t care or were incompetent; it’s that they were overconfident. When you think you know the answer, you sincerely believe it’s a waste of time to keep looking for it. It feels like continuing to search for your keys after you’ve found them.

I think the essential lesson for competitive-strategy decision-makers is not so fast, in both senses of the phrase: take your time and don’t be so sure. That’s the mindset used by the new VP and the I-don’t-knows.

The willingness to apply that mindset is what separates the good decision-makers from the bad.

Slow Deciders Make Better Strategists

Calculating the Market Value of Leadership


In recent years, investors have learned that defining the market value of a firm cannot just be based on finances. GAAP and FASB standards require financial reporting of earnings, cash flow, and profitability – all measures that investors have traditionally examined. But recently, these financial outcomes have been found to predict only about 50% of a firm’s market value. Another challenge is that this financial information has become widely known and shared, meaning that the investor insights it affords are hardly unique.

To gain more insights into a specific firm, investors have shown more interest in intangibles like strategy, brand, innovation, systems integration, collaboration, and so on. Investors have also worked to track and measure these intangibles, even if more subjective. We believe that a next step for investors is to analyze the predictors and drivers of these intangible factors, which means focusing on leadership.

Calculating the Market Value of Leadership

Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue oceans denote all the industries not in existence today—the unknown market space, untainted by competition. In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid. There are two ways to create blue oceans. In a few cases, companies can give rise to completely new industries, as eBay did with the online auction industry. But in most cases, a blue ocean is created from within a red ocean when a company alters the boundaries of an existing industry.

Blue Ocean Strategy

How to Reinvent Yourself

1. Know what you want
Don’t just understand what you don’t want. Work toward something with the reinvention. Don’t just simply run away from something else.

2. Get clear on what you want and why
Then when you get it, you will want what you have.

3. Don’t feel the need to justify your move
If someone is curious about your why, tell him or her in simple and truthful terms. No one can argue with the facts. He or she may have opinions, but the five minutes he or she spends thinking about you is nothing like having to live your life 24 hours a day.

4. Find others
Get in touch with a reinvention mentor and someone who has transitioned from one thing to another. Such people are available more places than you would think — and more people are wanting to reinvent themselves than ever before.

5. Take action
Every day you spend in stagnation is one less day you’ll spend in success. Small deliberate steps add up. Take one.

How to Reinvent Yourself

Getting People to Believe in Something They Can’t Yet Imagine

Four ways to push an idea through resistance.

Under the radar: Incremental improvement which can be readily understood is not considered nearly as threatening as groundbreaking innovation. So in some cases the best course of action is to present what you’re doing as simply building on current practice, keeping the truly innovative aspects hidden under the radar until it is so far along, and showing sufficient promise, as to make it impossible to shut down.

Demonstration: It is difficult for people who have never experienced the benefits of a particular innovation to recognize its value. That is why a demonstration can have a far greater impact in terms of gaining support than data or studies showing why the innovation makes sense.

Pilot project: When additional support or resources are needed to develop your innovation, and simply keeping your work under the radar will not suffice,  proposing an innovation as research or as a pilot project that does not require a major commitment can garner support.

Inevitability: When an industry is changing rapidly, it opens the door to obtaining support for an innovative idea that, in a more stable business environment, management might not consider.

Getting People to Believe in Something They Can’t Yet Imagine – Lee E. Miller, and Kathleen Hayes Onieal – Harvard Business Review.

Success Stories

A Reader’s Guide to Strategy.

Lawrence Freedman’s massive, ambitious new book, Strategy, offers a personal take on an important term, one so overused that it has become almost meaningless.

Success Stories

Leadership & Strategy: Out with the Old, In with the New Management Model

Author Gary Hamel thinks the existing management model is leaving too much human capability untapped.

Leadership & Strategy: Out with the Old, In with the New Management Model | Leadership content from IndustryWeek.

Three Quick Ways to Improve Your Strategy-Making

The standard strategy processes at most companies share three common characteristics: 1) you wait until the annual strategy review to revisit your strategy; 2) you put together a SWOT analysis as input to the start of the strategy process; and 3) you start the strategy process with a long and arduous exercise to wordsmith a mission/vision statement or organizational aspiration.

Three Quick Ways to Improve Your Strategy-Making – Roger Martin – Harvard Business Review.


Why CIOs Need To Think About The Internet Of Things

Why CIOs Need To Think About The Internet Of Things.


The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy


The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy – Harvard Business Review.