In my upcoming masterclass, I'll be sharing the 3 things that hold women back from a seat at the table, and in today's newsletter I want to focus on one of them:

The perception problem

We like to say that what people think about us doesn’t matter, but sometimes that’s just not true…

Does your boss' perception matter when you’re trying to get a promotion?

You bet it does

It doesn’t matter if:

  • You think you’re ready for the next step
  • You’ve got great critical-thinking skills
  • You have solid strategic ideas
  • Your team loves you

If your boss has a different perception, you’re out of luck.

The interesting thing is, most of my clients don't think this is the problem until we start digging in. And 9 times out of 10, it turns out that although they think strategically and have great ideas, they aren't showing up as strategic leaders.

What does it mean to show up as a strategic leader? How can you start doing this today?

There are 4 elements of strategic leadership that may seem small but will position you as a leader to those around you. They are:

  • Expertise
  • Insights
  • Judgement
  • Framing

These elements are crucial as they really guide everything you say and do, even if you don't realize it yet. And if you're thinking, “I don't know what you're talking about… I don't focus on these 3 things”

Well, that's precisely the problem.

But I want to deep dive into one of these elements in today's newsletter, because it's a shift you can make to start seeing instant results. It's one of the things I spend a fair bit of time on in my program to ensure people ‘get it', because let me tell you, it can be game-changing.

Demonstrating strategic insights

One of the easiest ways to describe someone who's presenting themselves as insightful vs. someone who's not is to compare what they report.

Are you reporting metrics or are you presenting insights?

Reporting metrics is just that. Reporting the numbers. Maybe on a good day you're also sharing some trends you've observed. For example:

“Lead conversion was 13%, which is down 4% compared to last quarter”.

And you stop there.

This is a huge missed opportunity to show your stuff…

Presenting insights looks more like this:

Lead conversion was 13%, down 4% from last quarter. At first, this appears as a sales issue, but after doing a deep dive I discovered this is due to a change in the mix of our inbound leads – with B and C leads making up the bulk of leads this quarter.

Conversion is actually up across the board – for A leads (at 21% vs. 19%) as well as B and C leads, but because B and C leads convert at such a low rate (9% and 4%) the overall conversion looks lower.

My recommendation for next quarter is to focus our digital channels on A lead sources and dial down the B and C lead sources.

Okay, this is just one example that may or may not resonate with you. The point I'm trying to make is:

Don't just report the ‘what' and then stop.

Include the ‘why' (ie. why is this change happening) and the ‘how' (ie. how can we leverage this insight for growth).

Do this, and I guarantee you'll see a change in the reaction you get when you report your metrics.

How can you start doing this?

One of the key factors in becoming more insightful is to carve out the time it takes to make this happen. If you aren't blocking out time in your calendar for strategic thinking or to dive into the data, my guess is you aren't doing this.

Finally, as with anything else, levelling up your general knowledge will help you be more insightful. By that I mean, understanding business strategy more broadly, what's worked for others and why, can help you connect the dots more easily.

Oh, if you liked this newsletter you'll love my free masterclass, which is happening on April 30th and May 1st. Pick the day and time that works for you!

Until next time friends… ✌️💜