Inspiring Leadership

Inspiring Leadership: Be Visible

The post series on Inspiring Leadership is a focus on how different leaders have inspired me and those in their sphere of influence.

“You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14‭-‬16 GNT

I have learnt a lot more about the power of visibility during my time at Ernst & Young (EY). Our Tax Partner, Josephine Banda, always encourages us to be visible within the firm. So, what exactly does visibility mean and how can you become more visible?

In large organisations, blending in may be a mistake that most of us make at one point in our careers. I remember when I was speaking to our Talent Leader and I mentioned that I felt that because my values and EY’s values speak to each other, I have blended into the organisational culture well. She stopped me right there and said, ‘We don’t want you to blend in, we want to see you.’ I had to take a few steps back and revisit what I thought I had to do and what I really needed to do.

Naturally, we tend to blend in so that we all become the same but what makes the team stronger are our unique abilities. What sets us apart and makes any organisation thrive are our differences rather than our similarities. So, what role does visibility play? If you blend in, you will become invisible because you will look like everyone else. You need to stand out and show your unique abilities.

5 things you can do to be visible

1. Volunteer and serve

Volunteer to do things that other people are not so much willing to do. It’s usually taking up the simple tasks such as taking notes, updating information, taking up administrative roles, etc. In whatever you do, take up a culture of service. Serve with your whole heart and give those tasks your best. This is the kind of process that will build your character. Also, the right people do notice those “little” things.

2. Be you

Before everything, there’s only one you in this world. You are unique and it’s important to use your S.H.A.P.E.

  • Spirituality – whatever you believe in contributes to the whole you.
  • Heart – the condition of your heart reveals a lot about you.
  • Abilities – use your abilities and sharpen them so they become skills.
  • Personality – your character is everything.
  • Experiences – the experiences and exposure that life has offered you make up a great deal of where you go next.

Whenever you’re given the chance, be the light. Light up your world with your greatness. I couldn’t have said it better than Amanda Gorman did in the ending of her poem, ‘The Hill We Climb’.

3. Strive for excellence

Somewhere along your journey you may realise that perfectionism doesn’t help you get ahead. When you strive for excellence, your output will be at its best. That effort is easily recognisable and the reward will soon come.

4. Share your thoughts

When you make valuable contributions in meetings and to team projects, you become more visible.

5. Network

Interact with fellow employees, clients, suppliers, school mates, church mates, etc. The goal is to keep your image fresh in people’s minds so that when opportunities that suit you come by, they will think of you.

Do you think these are helpful at all? What else can one do to become more visible? What sets you apart and what makes you the person that you are?

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I am a weird and wonderful young lady who loves beautiful things. I love writing because as Anne Frank puts it, "Paper is more patient than people".

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