Episode 13: The Art of Self Promotion - Fear of Becoming Obsolete (FOBO)
Career advice with a heavy dose of pop culture because we learn more when we are laughing.
Fear of becoming obsolete (FOBO) tackles the delicate art of self promotion at work. How do you champion your accomplishments without sounding like an arrogant ass? Watch as Chief Product Owner and Founder of Auld Consulting, Thomas (Tom) Auld shares his 25+ years of insight.
This week's pop culture references include: Din Djarin, Crystal Pepsi, A deep cut Keannu Reeves talking to John C. McGinley from Point Break, Cheri Oteri "Superstar", the Avengers celebrating a win, the "Bobs" from Office Space, the Goonies, Captain Obvious, and many, many more.
New scrum and agile training dates are set for 2023. Sign up for training with Tom today and stay relevant at work.
Tom is one of the only trainers in the world certified as both a Registered Scrum Trainer(tm) (RST) & Registered Scrum at Scale Trainer(tm) (RS@ST). Combined with Tom's 25 years of experience, including 10 agile business transformations, makes his training class the most interactive and relevant training in the market. Nothing beats the power of face-to-face training.
Registered Scrum Master June 22-23: https://www.auldconsultingllc.com/event-details/hollstadt-consulting-presents-registered-scrum-master-rsm-training-june-22-23-2023
Product Owner Training 27-28: https://www.auldconsultingllc.com/event-details/hollstadt-consulting-presents-registered-product-owner-rpo-training-july-27-28-2023
Scrum Master Training August 17-18: https://www.auldconsultingllc.com/event-details/hollstadt-consulting-presents-registered-scrum-master-rsm-training-august-17-18-2023
Scrum at Scale September 28-29: https://www.auldconsultingllc.com/event-details/hollstadt-consulting-presents-scrum-scale-practitioner-september-28-29-with-rs-st-thomas-auld
Registered Product Owner October 26-27: https://www.auldconsultingllc.com/event-details/hollstadt-consulting-presents-registered-product-owner-rpo-training-october-26-27-2023
Scrum at Scale November 20-21: https://www.auldconsultingllc.com/event-details/hollstadt-consulting-presents-scrum-scale-practitioner-november-20-21-with-rs-st-thomas-auld
Scrum at Scale December 18-19: https://www.auldconsultingllc.com/event-details/hollstadt-consulting-presents-scrum-scale-practitioner-decenber-18-19-with-rs-st-thomas-auld
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We do this two ways:
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Hello everybody! Thank you for joining and welcome to Episode 13 of FOBO. I am your friendly neighborhood product owner, Tom Auld.
According to data released Tuesday. Layoffs jumped by nearly 250,000 to 1.8 million — the highest level since December 2020. It’s tough out in the job market and we hope you are using these videos to help.
Today we are tackling the delicate topic of how to self-promote at work, but not come off like an arrogant @$$.
Whether you are an employee or consultant, knowing how to self-promote is a key skill you need to have. So join us today to learn a tacit or 2.
Grab a coffee, tea, or your favorite adult beverage, and let’s talk about staying relevant at work.
David Lee Roth, an all-time great rock front man said “I'm not conceited. Conceit is a fault and I have no faults”. His Van-Halen band mates might disagree, but it’s up to the audience to decide.
Taking the lesson from Diamond Dave, how can you balance the delicate art of self-promotion?
Start with thinking about the old adage, "If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, did it make a sound?"
This highlights the idea that something may exist or happen, but if it's not perceived or acknowledged, it may as well not exist at all.
Similarly, in the context of self-promotion at work, you may have valuable skills, achievements, and contributions, but if you don't communicate them effectively, your colleagues and leaders may not be aware of them.
Therefore, it's important to promote yourself in a positive way, so that your hard work and accomplishments are acknowledged and recognized.
So how should you go about doing that?
Regardless of if you are a consultant or employee, here are 3 general tactics:
1. Focus on your accomplishments: Instead of boasting about your abilities, focus on the specific things you have accomplished in your job. Share examples of outcomes you have achieved or goals you have met.
a. An example of this is “Achieved $5MM in annual savings by re-negotiating the global paper supply contract with Paper Inc.”
b. This is way more powerful than something like, “Met with Paper Inc 12 times in order to update our paper contract”. Make sure you are being obvious with your impact.
2. Give credit where it's due: When talking about your accomplishments, be sure to acknowledge the contributions of others who helped you along the way. This shows that you are a team player and not just focused on your own success.
3. Be humble: While it's important to talk about your achievements, it's also important to be humble and acknowledge that you still have things to learn and areas to improve.
a. Highlight a few of your learnings from the year and how you will keep growing your skills. This is a way to turn a perceived failure into a learning opportunity. Nobody is expecting you to be perfect, especially if they are asking you to be innovative and creative.
Since we have a lot of consultants and full time employees who are watching the FOBO videos, let’s look at these two groups individually:
Start by highlighting the impact you have had for your client. How did your expertise help them achieve their goas? Did your input lead to measurable results?
As consultants, we are held to a different standard.
The client knows how much they are paying us, and they want to make sure the value they get for our expertise, exceeds our cost.
So, to do this, create a portfolio of all your work assignments, and capture all the relevant data so you can easily tie your achievements to the assignment.
But make sure you are highlighting the achievements of the employees as well. In fact, when talking with your client, when you start sharing achievements, start with the employee’s achievements first. Then follow up with yours.
Think of it this way: The team you are working with is on a stage. They are about to win the team of the year award. As a consultant that helped the team, you are not on stage with them. You are just behind the curtain.
Once the team accepts their award and the thunderous applause stops, they all come running over to you behind the curtain to celebrate together.
Remember consultants, we are there to serve the goals of our clients. Do that well, and you will have very little FOBO in your work life.
Employees, this is a bit different for you, but the concepts are the same.
As an employee, you have more to consider than a consultant: You have.
· your individual work accomplishments
· your team’s accomplishments
· your area of expertise accomplishments
· your contributions to the overall success of the company
Since you have so much more to track, I highly recommend you have a portfolio of some kind where you keep track of your work assignments. In that portfolio you will want to make sure to
assign your accomplishments and categorize them from the list we just discussed throughout the year.
Try to make a habit of doing this on at least a monthly basis. If you wait 11 months to do this just before your annual assessment, it will be really had for you to remember, and very time consuming to go through all of you emails and work product, to find the information.
Now when it comes to annual assessment time, this is all about YOU!
Yes, you will want to cover what you did for the team and organization, but you must start with your direct accomplishments.
Using that same example from before:
“Achieved $5MM in annual savings by re-negotiating the global paper supply contract with Paper Inc.”
See how in this example there is zero confusion about what you did and how you directly contributed to the bottom line of the company.
Now when you are in line for a 7% raise, it will seem like a bargain for the company to give it to you.
If your achievements are less clear, ask yourself, what can I do to make them crystal clear. Remember, most annual assessments are read, so you need to make it easy for the reader to understand your impact.
Not sure if it is working for you? Run your ideas by your colleagues, mentors, and managers. Ask them what you can do to make your achievements stand out.
Quantitative examples are going to be easier for your boss to read and understand your impact, than qualitative examples.
If you have a hard time showing how you are relevant at work, then the company is going to have a hard time too.
Take the time and make it easy for them. That is the way (Mandalorian)to stay relevant, at work.
So, how did we do today? Did you get any value from this topic?
Did we miss something? Do you have any tips and techniques for your FOBO friends?
Please share your ideas in the comments and let’s help each other out.
Next week we will start a series on one of my favorite topics. Agile. Agility. Business Agility.
I don’t care what you call it, but it is the mindset all employees and employers need to understand and find ways to use those techniques to be successful.
So next week, let’s start by demystifying agile (image – it’s an illusion quote). I hope you will join us.
Before you go, please like and comment. Share it with a friend, share it with an enemy.
Together, Let’s all stay relevant at work.
I am Tom Auld, your friendly neighborhood product-owner, signing off.Have a VALUABLE week.Take care.