Whenever I hear a client of mine say “My work should speak for itself” as an objection to publicly showcasing, displaying, or bringing attention to their work, I know it’s time to gently serve up some truth.
And it’s tricky to do because they say it with such confidence. But I know it’s false confidence.
“I’ve done my best work and now I’ll let it do the talking for me! It’s great work and that should be self-evident, right?”
But it’s not, or at least they shouldn’t assume that it is.
And you shouldn’t either.
It’s a narrow, limited assumption that borders on a cop-out for the vulnerable act of putting yourself out there and showing people the attention you want and deserve to have around your work.
You need to shift your perspective and acknowledge that you need to take charge of both doing your best work (what you’re already doing) and intentionally broadcasting it (what you need to be doing).
Not only do you need to both produce the work and get the eyes you need, but all of your higher-ups need both from you, too. For starters, they likely don’t have the time, but I’ll bet good money they want to see that you already know it isn’t their job, but yours, to take the lead in championing your work.
- They need you to be forward about what you’re accomplishing and building.
- They need you to be connecting the dots to the larger business and bottom line.
- They need you to be front-footed about your contributions and unafraid to advertise them.
If you won’t do it, tell me how you’re not the one keeping yourself small?