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Don't Pull This Disappearing Act

Written by Rebecca Okamoto on March 8, 2014

Have you ever wondered what you can do to demonstrate more leadership? I often coach people looking for new opportunities when they could be capitalizing on the opportunities they already have. I ask them if they are pulling a disappearing act.

Where do most people pull a disappearing act? At meetings.

I recently had a leadership discussion with a promising manager, Philip. Philip wants to get promoted, and was trying to convince me that he was ready to represent me in the executive meetings. He said he was looking for more opportunities to lead.

I told Philip, "I'm in a monthly forecast meeting with you, and you only speak up when it's your turn, or when you're asked a question. I've never seen you facilitate a discussion outside your topic. If you don't show leadership in the meetings where I can see you, how can I count on you to represent me when I'm not around?"

"You're not invisible. What's invisible is your leadership."

Do you disappear until you're called on? Are you walking by opportunities to contribute to the conversation regardless of the topic?

You're not invisible. Every interaction, active or passive, broadcasts a message about you, your values, and your leadership. It's your choice to make that message intentional or accidental.

Ready to show your leadership?

Change the way you approach meetings. Instead of looking at meetings as a necessary, but uninteresting evil, think of them as a perfect venue to showcase your leadership. You can bury yourself in email, or you can show your leaders what you got.

Show your leaders you can think on your feet, correct wrong assumptions, and guide direction. Show them how well you engage with others.

Don't hope someone will see your passion or strategic thinking just by a nod of your head. Prove it. Show your leaders that they can count on you to add value. And give them confidence you can represent them when they're not around.

Don't pull a disappearing act! Come to every meeting and add value. You're in the room, and it's time to show up.

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