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Hidden Secrets To Career Acceleration

Written by: Brandi P. Sheffield, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you ever wondered why other people promote faster and into more prominent positions? Or maybe, why haven't you been able to get higher positions, with higher pay… like maybe you get the feeling they don’t value or trust you? Well, let me tell you that there are definite strategies to advancing in your career and NOT being left behind. They begin with how you see leadership in your current role and the role you desire. It doesn’t matter if you are the secretary, a member of the team or have an actual leadership title. There is leadership in every job role. Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal. Take the time to think about the leadership in your role.

Let’s dive into the hidden strategies to get your career moving. 1. Practice the Skills BEFORE You Get The Job Yes, when your bosses are looking out on the horizon within the company for who is ready to move up for new opportunities, they are looking for the skills that are already a great match for the job role. Any new role has a learning curve, but no employer is going to give you on-the-job training for the basic entry requirements, especially leadership. Conduct a gap analysis of the leadership skills for your current role, and the one you want. As you start to understand the leadership skills that you need to learn and demonstrate, you can make a daily or weekly plan to use those skills now. By doing so, they become automatic in how you operate in your role. 2. Research the RIGHT Skills Once you know which leadership skills you need to learn, do a simple google search to understand what they look like in action, the language associated with them, and how they show up daily. Here is an example. If I identified “communication” as a skill I need to develop more deeply, I googled “communication as a leadership skill” which gave me a long list of articles. By slowing down and reading through the titles and descriptions, I found one called “Top 5 leadership skills”. The article I found stated, “5 Important Communication Skills for Leaders”

  1. Listening

  2. Complimenting

  3. Delegating

  4. Managing Meetings

  5. Positive Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

Having this list, I would read through each description and consider: How am I currently doing this? What can I improve? How does this look different in a higher position? What has been my experience from superior, colleagues and support staff with these skills?

3. Methods of Learning & Practicing the RIGHT Skills Now that you know what you need to work on and have a baseline for the outcomes you want to practice, the next is to find learning opportunities to get those skills. Using the same google search, training at the end (communication as a leadership skill training) and click on Videos. There will be a laundry list of free videos to learn the skills. If you want to take it a step further, sites like Coursera, Indeed, etc have free or really inexpensive courses on a wide range of skills. 4. Results: Real Experience! Learn the skills, practice them everyday in your current job and watch the response you receive about how you show up! Your evidence will be in the unsolicited feedback you receive from colleagues, peers, support staff and your superior. Not only will you have positioned yourself in a better manner to be invited to promote, during the interview, you will have real world experience to talk about… the journey you just took! You will be able to talk about your process, the impact it has made in the working relationship, environment, and productivity and without a doubt, be seen for your value to take on the next challenge. When an employee and candidate are able to demonstrate their value through leadership …then and only then, are you now set apart from blending in. Now you stand out. I call this THE OUTLIER LEADER! WHAT IS AN OUTLIER LEADER? An OUTLIER LEADER is someone who has developed their executive presence. Executive presence is not about a title. It is a persons’ charisma, swagger, magnetism, and confidence. Executive presence is how other people see you, NOT how you see yourself. Think about it. Is there someone in your world who is memorable, impressive, credible and genuine? That person has an executive presence. Executive presence is also a persons’ ability to change gears from situation to situation flawlessly. They know how to THINK about a situation and respond appropriately. Their presence is evident and is consistent if they are interacting with support staff, peers, senior leaders and anyone they are in relationship with. Executive Presence has 6 components:

  1. Leadership Character

  2. Leadership Communication

  3. Leadership Competence

  4. Leadership Credibility

  5. Leadership Command

  6. Leadership Political Savvy

As a person develops their leadership, they must also develop their executive presence by learning the thinking skills that lead to how they present themselves.

The great news! Anyone can learn it!

It is not something you are born with. The myth of “some people are just born with it” is a lie. Every person who has it (executive presence), learned it or it was directly taught to them.


In our Career Accelerator Incubator program, we equip highly skilled career professional women to move up faster or move on by mastering your executive presence AND attracting the right career opportunities to increase your income, influence & impact!

Schedule a FREE Career Breakthrough Review TODAY to 10x your Career & Income! Follow us on LinkedIn for weekly career strategies and tips.

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Brandi P. Sheffield, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Brandi P. Sheffield, a leadership expert, has led teams of 100+ using and teaching executive presence & leadership messaging to influence with impact. As a Sr. Executive Director, Brandi has built a legacy of leaders by coaching executive colleagues and lower division leaders to transform their leadership. She is the CEO of Learning Associates and designer/founder of the Career Acceleration Incubator program called The Outlier Leader. Her mission: To increase the presence of women in leadership positions that empower voice, strategy and perspectives on the wage gap, balances patriarchal practices, eliminates gender bias, discrimination, and marginalization of women in leadership.



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