Why It’s Important

Consider a crucial point in your career where your decisions and words say something about who you are and what kind of leader you aspire to be. This is where emerging leaders find themselves daily. Stepping up, speaking up, and showing up are essential actions that determine not just the direction of your career but also the visibility and influence you have within your organization.

These are attributes that empower you to assert your presence, make impactful decisions, and impact the culture around you. As you embrace these behaviors, you position yourself as a leader who deserves respect and can lead through change.

What I’m Talking About

Stepping up, speaking up, and showing up are about taking proactive steps to enhance your visibility and influence in your career. It’s about the mindset of moving beyond your comfort zone to embrace new challenges, communicating your ideas confidently, and being physically present, confident, and engaged in every situation.

Here’s the secret, though: these behaviors are deeply intertwined with how you think about yourself and, therefore, the responsibilities you are willing to take on.

How Can You Embrace This Trifecta? Great Question!

1. Step Up: Begin by assessing where you stand in terms of confidence and communication on a scale from one to ten. Understanding your current position helps you identify the areas needing the most attention. Embrace opportunities that push you out of your comfort zone—whether it’s leading a project or participating in strategic meetings. Each step out of your comfort zone is a step towards realizing your potential.

What does this look like? Well, maybe you are a new manager who typically rates themselves a six on confidence and communication from the scale above. Aware that you need to improve to advance in your career, you volunteer to lead the quarterly planning session—a task you have always avoided due to your nervousness about public speaking. By stepping into this leadership role, you not only challenge your communication skills but also gain visibility among your senior management. As you prepare and present your ideas, you gradually become more comfortable in this stretch assignment, demonstrating your capability and commitment. Each meeting becomes a step towards strengthening your confidence and asserting your leadership presence.

2.  Speak Up: Your voice is your most powerful tool. Start by recognizing the value of your opinions and ensuring they are heard during discussions. If you’re on the lower end of the confidence spectrum, practice your points in advance. Remember, the clarity of your communication is significantly influenced by how well you control your thoughts before you speak.

What does this look like? Imagine you’re a junior analyst and often find yourself hesitating to voice your opinions during team meetings, worried they might not measure up to your more experienced colleagues. Recognizing the need to assert yourself to make an impact, you decide to start preparing your points in advance. Before each meeting, you jot down key notes and rehearse how you want to present them, focusing on clear and confident communication.

At the next project update, you take a deep breath and share your suggestions for improving the project’s efficiency. Your ideas are well-received, and this preparation helps you gain control over your nerves. By consistently speaking up, you begin to realize your value within the team and grow more comfortable contributing your insights regularly.

3.  Show Up: Your physical presence speaks volumes before you even say a word. Dress for the role you want and conduct yourself as if you’re already there. Pay attention to your body language, too—stand tall, make eye contact, and engage actively with your peers and superiors. This not only boosts your confidence but also makes you more memorable.

What does this look like? You’ve been eyeing a promotion to project manager, and you know that appearing professional is key. To prepare, you start dressing in smart, well-fitted attire that mirrors the senior members of your team. Each day, you make a conscious effort to stand tall, maintain steady eye contact, and actively engage in conversations, both in meetings and around the office. This approach not only enhances your confidence but also changes how colleagues perceive you. They start seeing you not just as a team member but as a potential leader. Your polished appearance and assertive body language make you a memorable figure in your workplace, signaling your readiness for more significant responsibilities.

What’s Next?

Start today by choosing one area among stepping up, speaking up, or showing up where you feel you could improve the most. Set a small, achievable goal for the week. For example, if you choose to speak up more, commit to expressing your ideas in the next team meeting. Remember, the journey to becoming a powerful leader starts with small, consistent steps. What will your first step be?

Explore more about unlocking your leadership potential and enhancing your professional journey by visiting www.DebbiePetersonSpeaks.com. Discover how Clarity-Driven Leadership programming and resources can transform not just your career but also your life.