Introvert Leadership Trap: Being “Above” Self-Promotion

 In Job Search Strategy

Somehow as an Introvert Leader, you have made it to the level you are right now, by some means. You weren’t discovered like a starlet at a diner. You had to be competitive to get where you are. Even if this is your first job, you have had to self-promote just to get your job.

Self-promotion is something that must be done in order for you to do something besides play video games all day long.

Yet, I fairly consistently hear comments that it’s a disgusting, demeaning thing to do and only the truly loathsome humans out there do it. YOU perform and your work stands as a pillar of virtue and speaks for itself. You are “above” that behavior.

If this is your thinking, you have put yourself in a trap where you will stay until a stymied career finally frustrates you or you retire. You will get to watch as other, less skilled people, get ahead.

Is this you? (Please, be truthful)

Your thinking on this needs to be recalibrated.

Self-promotion begins as an infant when you learn that your parents stand between you and a candy bar. We all have goals and are continuously in the mode of pursuing them. You are doing something to move yourself from point A to point B when you have a goal, even if it is to learn to play golf. All goals include self-promotion to achieve your them.

The trap that us Introvert Leaders run in to is that we see people who are also over-the-top, self-important braggers that are truly worth avoiding. We think that is the role model of self-promotion and all to often, we over-correct in the other direction. We fail to self-promote while doing our job because we deliberately choose the opposite behavior.

When you fail to self-promote you are choosing to fail your career goals.

Another thing you are failing to do is paying attention to the other self-promotion that is also going on all around you. You probably didn’t notice it because it wasn’t as blatant.

The other and better self-promoter is the person who is updating and communicating with the boss. That real role model is learning what the boss’s priorities are and working to support them. A good self-promoter is figuring out what it takes to earn a promotion and working openly to earn it.

You need to realize that climbing up in your career is more than merely performing well. You will climb the ladder of success by forming great relationships with people who like and support you. Each step you make will be easier because you were savvy enough to realize that people (especially the boss) will not go out of the way to discover your great performance. You have to go out of your way to help them understand what you have done and why it is a good thing.

You, not someone else, has to take the responsibility to self-promote if you ever want to take one step forward.

You can self-promote in a very authentic, honest way. You simply need to look at it differently than you are today.

For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook:  From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from and  And check out Dorothy’s new book, “Career Mapping for Climbing Managers – Planning Your Career On Purpose”. You can find the book in print or Kindle on Amazon.

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