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You’ve now volunteered for a project where you can use your unique skills, talents, and experiences to add value to your company. You’re thinking strategically, and more people are taking notice. Let’s talk about what you can do to leverage your work on this project even more.
If your project involves senior leaders from your department, don’t let your brilliance to get lost in a general meeting with your entire team. Once you hit on a creative idea that will make the project more successful, contact one (or more) of these leaders to set up a one-on-one check-in. We'll call it “the meeting before the meeting.” At this check-in, you’ll share your ideas for moving forward and get feedback on your current progress.
Let the senior leader know that you have an idea, but want to run it by him or her before you present it in order to ensure that your vision is aligned. This lets the executive know that you have valuable insights to contribute, which will lead him or her to pay more attention to your contributions at larger meetings. It also prevents others from getting credit for your ideas.
Afterward, send a follow-up note summarizing your meeting and joint accountabilities. Cc (and acknowledge) the supervisor who chose you for the project. This will make both of you look good and prevent your boss from feeling like you are going over his or her head. You want to move ahead, but you also want to be ethical and give credit to those who support you.
Make a list of potential projects where your skills and knowledge can make a difference, as well as names of senior stakeholders in those areas. Your next step will be to create a strategy for approaching these stakeholders and making these projects come to life.
—Simma Lieberman, Career Coach