When was the last time you took credit for a job well done? You know, you gave a little toot to your own horn? For many, this is a decidedly challenging step to take. We don’t want to brag. No one wants all swag with no substance. But I’m talking about the kind of credit taking that gives you sway. The kind that boosts your credibility. I’m going to tell you why you must talk about yourself! And baby, you…you are worth talking about…:)
There’s definitely an art to conveying your accomplishments in a way that brings you the recognition that you deserve. As some of you are listening right now, I can see you bristling at the notion. Especially given your upbringing or long-held views on things like pride, humility or the need to be grateful in all circumstances (which by the way, I fully support and understand the dilemma). But let me see if I can share with you a different perspective.
My friend and mentor, Mike Kim, asks if being thankful is keeping you from work you love and believe in? It’s a great question. Is it possible that you are way underestimating your capability? When you are hesitant to take credit it can result in you feeling stuck or worse yet, imprisoned. There’s a significant difference, right? If you are stuck, you can get unstuck, but if you are imprisoned, you are there until someone else releases you.
Chris Brogan says that you’ve got the controls. You can’t afford to believe otherwise.
Part of the reason it can feel so wrong to talk about you is that you resent others who do it excessively. That’s not what we are going for here. Yes, there are those who incessantly brag about what their long list of accomplishments. Don’t Get Stuck Living In The Past!
The Value Of A Brag Is That It Instigates Others To Outperform!
Celebrate accomplishments. Cheer the result. But don’t be one of those who stops dead in their tracks talking only about what they have done. Thankfully, there are those who believe that what’s been done, can be done better. It can be improved.
Don’t Get So Full Of Yourself That You Lose A Realistic Perspective Of Yourself!
Just because “I’m on a hot streak”, don’t respond like a frenzied gambler who just hit the jackpot on the $5 slot machine. Bragging sometimes leads us to think we are better than we are. It has a place and is useful to a limited point, but the risk is that we no longer hold a realistic perspective of ourselves. And this my friends is why you resist talking about your accomplishments. Because you have difficulty distinguishing between bragging and getting noticed.
Now compare bragging to swagger. You’ve met him or her. They have taken bragging to a different level – they wear it as clothing. They don’t even have to use words. Their arrogant and self-confident approach clears a wide swath. They are likely leaning over the line of conceit…and in many instances, they can back it up. Admit it – you’re kinda jealous!
Swagger Is Identifying As The Golden Goose
You aren’t saying “hey everyone, I don’t know how, but I just laid a golden egg!” No, swagger is more like “Make a path, golden goose coming through. All you lame chickens, MOVE….” Swagger is actually different than cockiness. Cockiness is name dropping the swagger like the two of you are friends or something. Cockiness is like swagger envy. You’re just part of the entourage. Your connections might even be real, but your track record isn’t, there’s no delivery, no evidence you are capable of anything other than sucking up.
It’s hard for a team to be around swagger. Often, it results in a vacuum. Can you hear that large sucking sound? That’s the guy or gal with swagger sucking up all of the credit for the work the team has done to produce success.
Build What Matters: SWAY!
So where am I going with all of this?! I’m glad you asked. Neither undue amounts of bragging or swagger will bring credibility to you or your team. But what if I told you that there was a way that you could communicate your achievements boldly, and such that would get you the credit you deserve? What if I said that you can use a smidgen of brag and swag to build what matters: sway! And what’s another word for sway? You guessed it, INFLUENCE.
Tune in next week because I’m going to spend the entire episode sharing ways that you can communicate your accomplishments and establish your credibility.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Is “Being Thankful” Keeping You From Work You Love and Believe In Mike Kim blogpost
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Now, go lead like someone you would want to follow!