Becoming a leader does not come as a result of a new business title, nor does it come merely from developing a strong expertise. Learning and growing as a person to perfect your professional reputation is just as important as growing and developing your business skills. As Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric said, “Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself.”
So, you are at a place in your career where you are performing your job duties very efficiently. You have mastered your role and co-workers come to you for advice on work assignments. Your manager is aware of your value and shows appreciation frequently. Things are comfortable, yet you are eager to do more. You want to grow your career, grow your income, and become a key leader.
In order to advance, you have to understand your own attributes and limitations. This next chapter of your career development is dependent upon demonstrating credibility, honesty, integrity and inspiration. It is about developing your Professional Reputation.
When and how do you begin? First you need to gain insight into your current professional reputation by soliciting feedback from your manager and peers. Learning how you are viewed will help you to pinpoint areas where you need polish. Obtaining continuous feedback to strengthen your skills and enhance your professional reputation is essential to your success.
Leverage Role Models
You should seek out individuals with a strong professional reputation that will serve as role models. Individuals who you admire in your company. People who everyone enjoys working with, even if it means additional work. Leaders that are so creditable they possess a unique confidence that is genuine.
Learn from your interactions with these role models. Observe the communication styles these individuals utilize with different audiences. Observe how these role models inspire others and instill a sense of shared purpose and teamwork through their actions.
Your professional reputation is who you are, what you stand for and the values you embrace. Everything you do will either strengthen or tarnish it. Cultivating your professional reputation takes time and effort, but the rewards will come in career opportunities.