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Why you need to be visible to just one person to achieve your potential
If I asked you to describe yourself, I’d wager you might describe yourself as shy, funny, can-do, talkative, a bit lazy or pretty smart. At the very least you’d be able to say you’re short, tall, balding or have brown eyes.
If asked you to describe yourself as a leader, what would you answer?
No matter what your job title, you are a leader: you have more influence than you might realise. Leadership, however, requires you to step forward and be visible, and it’s not as simple as attending a meeting, making a presentation or having control of a budget or policy.
In our programs and work with clients we always ask: what does visibility mean? Invariably the answers come back: being seen; being heard; having presence; getting promoted; leading a team; being recognised by superiors; having a voice; speaking up. Absolutely, all of that is correct.
But without showing up to one, single, important person, none of this will ever come to life. Who is that person? You. Before you can be visible to others, you need to be visible to yourself.
The first enabler of visible leadership is developing a clear leadership identity – being visible to yourself. Without this, you’ll get in your own way with blindspots, lack purpose and vision, and have big gaps in both clarity and confidence.
We see what’s possible when people define what leadership means, turn the mirror on themselves and take responsibility for who they are and how they lead. They can unlock their own potential, accelerate change, and gain the courage to become more impactful leaders at work, home and in the community. When a leader becomes visible to themselves, others usually notice the shift, come along for the ride and lean into leadership themselves.
There are four key ingredients in the first stage of visible leadership. They are:
Your ‘why’ as a leader.
The key enablers of decision-making that influence who we connect with.
How you want to feel and what you want to achieve in the future.
Self-talk, limiting beliefs, strengths and blind-spots… and more!
Having visibility to yourself becomes the secret weapon that powers everything else: your visibility to others and your ability to achieve true impact, in ways that are meaningful to you. It’s important to know, though, that you never graduate from this work! It’s cyclical: as you build external impact, there is also an invitation to return to visibility to self and ensure you have the resilience and ability to manage what comes. And so the process begins, again and again...
About Visibility Co.
Working at the intersection of leadership, strategy and visibility, we seek to be strategic provocateurs and catalysts of systemic change, supporting you to unleash the potential within so you can create a better world from wherever you are.
While we’re not big on labels, we’re often referred to as social impact and communications strategists, or strategic leadership advisors, or visibility experts.
Fancy words for a business, led by Julia May and Sarah Anderson, that brings together purposeful leadership, strategy and communications in truly integrative and innovative ways.
We see everyday that every single one of us has barriers to visibility, and there are some common ones we hear regularly. The great thing is, when you're able to sit in a safe space with other purposeful people with huge potential, you get to hear that everyone has these hang-ups. We mean everyone.
One thing that consistently amazes us in the work we do is how even the most accomplished, capable leaders underestimate their own potential and influence. It often takes us holding a mirror up to them, and describing them back to themselves as we see them - or challenging them to be bolder in their visioning, for them to see what’s possible for their own impact and career.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners — the Kulin Nations, particularly the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, and Wadawurrung people — upon whose ancestral lands we live and work. We pay respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging, and acknowledge the pivotal role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community. Sovereignty was never ceded.