What Impression Are You Leaving?

Leaving an impressionPicture this…

Your goal is to move into a more senior role. For the past ten months, you have been mindful of doing things that will help raise your profile with the management team. The value you deliver is significant and above the norm – quantitatively and qualitatively.

You are fortunate to have a mentor who details expectations of the senior level you are seeking. Two colleagues are great sounding boards as you navigate your way into this new territory. They help you with strategy and assessing your efforts. You feel your solid results, and strong relationships send the right message.

However, your mentor diplomatically informs you that your profile signals that you are a great workhorse but not necessarily senior management material. You are taken aback. You were certain you were leaving the right impression. Apparently not!

Your mentor has suggested there is substantial competition for the position you’re seeking and to be considered you will need to work on:

  • Adjusting your resume because the terminology currently sends the message you are not ready for prime time
  • Speaking in the language senior management makes use of
  • Increasing your awareness of what’s important to them and why
  • Establishing external relationships with senior management as a way to learn
  • Focusing more on the leadership side than the technical side
  • Developing your ability to influence

You must adapt your thinking. Working on these areas will help you better understand the level you aspire to.

Gone are the days of taking on the role and assimilating over the first few months. Today, you are expected to do the learning and networking on your own time before moving into the role. Considering you have a full plate of responsibilities and accountabilities, it is essential to get help crafting a strategy so you can focus your efforts.

The price of entry to a more senior role takes more than mere results or acing an interview. It is essential to factor impression management, influence and impact into your plans.

During every conversation, presentation, or meeting update, you are leaving an impression, and others are judging you by what you say and how you say it. They are forming opinions of you based on what is important to them.

It is critical to be mindful of how your behavior shapes others’ perceptions of you. Being  attuned reduces the risk of letting others shape their perceptions of you. Hard work and effort will not necessarily leave the impression you intended.

Ever had surprising feedback about the impression you were leaving?

Do you find moving to the next level tougher today than it used to be?


Perhaps you have impression management issues you would like to learn how to sort out. On Wednesday evenings at 9 pm ET, I coach participants through these situations. If you would like to join the call please optin through this link: 




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